London, Oct 28 (IANS) Long Covid affected majorly people who had a severe Covid-19 infection, finds a study.
The study, published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe, found that patients who had been bedridden for at least seven days during the SARS-CoV-2 infection had the highest prevalence of severe physical symptom burden, over double that of those not diagnosed with Covid-19.
They also had the most persistent symptoms for up to two years after diagnosis.
The prevalence of chronic symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, headaches, and low energy/ fatigue, was 37 per cent higher in those who had had a Covid-19 diagnosis than in those who had not.
However, no elevated prevalence of long Covid was found in people who had never been bedridden with the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
“Long Covid has grown into a major public health problem since a large proportion of the global population has been infected,” says Emily Joyce, doctoral student at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.
“Our results show the long-term health consequences of the pandemic and highlight the importance of monitoring physical symptoms for up to two years after diagnosis, especially in people who experienced severe Covid-19,” Joyce added.
In the study, researchers examined the prevalence of persistent physical symptoms in people with different degrees of Covid severity and compared them with people who had not had a confirmed Covid-19 diagnosis.
The study comprised 64,880 adults from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland with self-reported physical symptoms between April 2020 and August 2022.
Over 22,000 of the participants were diagnosed with Covid-19 during the period, almost 10 per cent of whom were bedridden for at least seven days.
“We’ll continue to assess the long-term health impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in this project,” said Qing Shen, affiliated researcher at the Institute of Environmental Medicine and the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska.
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