A new set of statistics show how common it is for people to develop long COVID, a condition that’s grown increasingly concerning. Long COVID refers to a group of symptoms that can last for months after initial infection and can affect major organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, blood clots, and more.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a recent study, dividing subjects into two groups: those under the age of 65 and those older. For the former, 1 out of 5 COVID survivors was found to develop long COVID symptoms. For the latter group, results were even higher, with 1 out of 4 survivors experiencing symptoms.
The study analyzed the electronic records of 2 million people, comparing the infected with the uninfected. Results found that participants belonging to both groups were twice as likely than uninfected people to develop respiratory conditions and lung problems. The analysis also found that the most common post-COVID conditions that people developed were respiratory conditions and musculoskeletal pain.
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When comparing the two groups themselves, researchers found that the older group was exposed to more risks. They also had higher risks of developing kidney failure, neurological conditions, and mental health conditions.
“It is sobering to see the results of this study again confirming the breadth of organ dysfunction and the scale of the problem,” Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, the chief of research and development at the V.A. St. Louis Health Care System, told the New York Times. He said that, as a consequence of COVID, thousands of people could develop long-term diseases that would affect them for the rest of their lives, like diabetes, heart disease, neurological problems, and more.
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New research is helping us understand long COVID, which can occur after people have been vaccinated, especially if the patients are older.