Over 23% people to have lasting post-Covid symptoms: Study

Among all patients infected with the coronavirus disease, more than 23 per cent continued to suffer from one or more health issues even a month after being diagnosed with Covid-19, according to a large study.

Many patients recover from Covid-19 within a few weeks, but some exhibit persistent or new symptoms more than four weeks after first being diagnosed. Patients with such post-Covid conditions are variously referred to as having long-haul Covid, long Covid or post-acute sequelae of Covid-19 (PASC).

The study by health care nonprofit FAIR Health analysed private health care claim records for nearly 2 million people diagnosed with Covid in 2020. The people in the study ranged in age from babies to the elderly; some 53 per cent were female and 47 per cent were male. The study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The five most common post-Covid conditions across all ages were pain, breathing difficulties, hyperlipidemia, malaise and fatigue, and hypertension. Pain, breathing difficulties and intestinal issues were the top conditions among the paediatric population (0-18). More than 25 per cent young individuals aged between 19 and 29 showed cardiac inflammation post Covid.

Fifty per cent patients hospitalised with Covid-19 developed a post-Covid condition, while among the symptomatic patients not hospitalised, 27.5 per cent developed long Covid. However, post-Covid symptoms were also present among 19 per cent patients who remained asymptomatic.

Most of the post-Covid conditions that were evaluated were associated more with females than males.

Further, anxiety was associated with the highest percentage of patients after Covid-19 in all age groups. It was followed by depression, adjustment and tic disorders.

The odds of death 30 days or more after initial diagnosis with Covid-19 were 46 times higher for patients who were hospitalised with Covid-19 and discharged than patients who had not been hospitalised. Among Covid-19 patients with preexisting conditions, intellectual disabilities were associated with the highest odds of death 30 days or more after initial Covid-19 diagnosis, the study showed.