Even mild COVID-19 cases can have major and long-lasting effects on people’s health. That is one of the key findings from a new multicountry study on long COVID-19 — or long COVID — recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The objective of this research was to estimate the proportion of males and females with COVID-19, younger or older than 20 years of age, who had Long COVID symptoms in 2020 and 2021 and their Long COVID symptom duration.
The researchers found that a staggering 90% of people living with long COVID initially experienced only mild illness with COVID-19. After developing long COVID, however, the typical person experienced symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath and cognitive problems such as brain fog — or a combination of these — that affected daily functioning. The study also found that women have twice the risk of men and four times the risk of children for developing long COVID.
The participant data were derived from 44 published studies, 10 collaborating cohort studies (conducted in Austria, the Faroe Islands, Germany, Iran, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US), and 2 US electronic medical record databases.
This study was led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.