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Long Covid, more than one in five people can develop it

The long Covid continues to emerge as a serious pathology that many are forced to face after passing the infection. A new, large study signed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains that one in five adults who have passed Covidand under the age of 65, he experienced at least one health problem to be counted precisely among the symptoms attributable to long Covid. Above 65 that proportion increases and problems are reported by one in four people.

For this reason, the authors of the survey, members of the institution’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Team, recommended «one routine evaluation for the post-Covid conditions among people who overcome Covid-19 ». The long Covid describes a condition, which we have explored on several occasions, characterized by one or more symptoms caused by the infection that can last months or more after the initial infection, especially among those who have been severely affected, even if not exclusively.

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“Researchers have identified post-Covid health problems in many different organ systems, including the heart, lungs and kidneys – writes the New York Times who reported the study in detail – other problems relate to blood circulation, the musculoskeletal system and the endocrine system. Gastrointestinal conditions, neurological problems and psychiatric symptoms were also identified in the study. Overall, and in both age groups, ex-Covid patients showed the double the risk of people who had never encountered the virus develop breathing problems, including pulmonary embolism. Among the elderly there were also more delicate situations such as kidney failure, neurological conditions and other mental health conditions.

The scope of the investigation is impressive: it was based on electronic health records from nearly two million people, obviously comparing the former infected with those who have never been infected. The results? The risk of post-Covid patients aged 65 and over developing one of the 26 health conditions assessed by the study was included between 20% and 120% more compared to people who have not contracted Covid. While up to the age of 65 this risk barely dropped in a fork between 10% and 110% (but for only 22 possible consequences, with the exclusion of some on which a greater incidence has not been demonstrated) always compared to non-infected people.

The study analyzed data from 353,164 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in the first 18 months of the pandemic, starting in March 2020. He then compared them with those of 1.64 million non-infected people who underwent a medical examination in the same month in which the corresponding patients had contracted Covid. The period considered was extended until October 31, 2021. Obviously, the study excluded people who had suffered from one of the 26 conditions investigated in the previous year, so as to isolate only the problems potentially related to the Sars-CoV-2 syndrome. .

The essence is that between 30 days and 365 days after the coronavirus diagnosis the 38% of patients experienced one or more new health problems, compared to 16% of patients not affected by the virus and therefore by Covid. The younger age group, 18 to 64, was less likely to have these problems: 35% developed long Covid problems, compared to 15% of uninfected people. In the group aged 65 and over, 45% had developed at least one health problem, compared with 19% of non-infected people. Thus, based on these percentages, the authors calculated that nearly 21% of the younger group and nearly 27 of the older group developed health problems that could be attributed to long-term Covid.

The study has several limitations: for example, it did not examine the vaccination status of patients, did not divide by ethnicity, sex or geographic location and tried to investigate the variants involved. But it remains an important proof of the dramatic legacy that Covid will be able to leave to millions of people.

Other stories of Vanity Fair that may interest you

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Source: Vanity Fair

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