Long-term Covid health issues affect people of all ages: Study

People of all age groups are at risk of long-term physical and mental health issues after Covid infection, a study has found.

Following Covid-19 infection, there is significant new onset morbidity in children, adolescents and adults across 13 distinct diagnosis and symptom complexes, according to a new study published in the open access journal PLOS Medicine.

Earlier research has established that some people infected with Covid-19 suffer long-term health problems following the acute phase of the disease.

However, evidence on post-acute syndrome is still limited, especially for children and adolescents.

The new study by Martin Roessler of Technische Universitat Dresden, Germany and colleagues, used a healthcare dataset covering nearly half the German population.

Overall, children and adolescents who had been infected with Covid-19 were 30 per cent more likely than controls to have documented health problems beginning three months or more after infection.

Adults with Covid-19 were 33 per cent more likely than controls to have health problems, the findings showed.

Among children and adolescents, rates of malaise/fatigue/exhaustion, cough and throat/chest pain were the most strongly associated with a prior Covid-19 infection, but rates of headache, fever, abdominal pain, anxiety disorder and depression were also increased.

Among adults, smell/taste disturbance, fever, and dyspnea (or difficulty breathing) were most strongly associated with Covid-19 infection but also more common were cough, throat and chest pain, hair loss, fatigue, exhaustion and headache.

“The results of the present study indicate that post-Covid syndrome cannot be dismissed among children and adolescents,” the authors said.

“While children and adolescents appear to be less affected than adults, these findings are statistically significant for all age groups,” they wrote.

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