Adults ages 50 to 69 most likely to report ‘long COVID,’ UK study finds

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Women and people with underlying health conditions also reported higher prevalence of ‘long COVID’

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An observational study out of the UK indicated that adults aged 50–69 experienced the so-called “longer COVID,” or symptoms months after initial COVID-19 infection, than all other age groups. Reported at the highest rates in comparison.

Conclusion released On Thursday the Office for National Statistics drew from the Coronavirus Infection Survey, called the UK’s “largest routine survey of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and antibodies” to inform its pandemic response.

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The analysis stemmed from 26,000 participants who tested positive for COVID-19 and questioned whether they experienced any of the 12 specified symptoms weekly and subsequently, at monthly intervals of up to a year. The set of symptoms included “fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness/fatigue, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste and smell,” according to a release on Thursday. lack”. . Participants were then matched with a COVID-negative control for comparison.

‘Long COVID’ affects 1 in 10 children, Israel survey finds

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Overall, from late April to August, 1 in 20 of some 12,611 participants reported any of the 12 symptoms at 12 to 16 weeks after infection, which was considered “statistically significantly” compared to the control group. more” was reported.

In a breakdown by age, adults 50–69 reported the highest rate of lasting symptoms, with 12.5% ​​reporting symptoms 4–8 weeks after infection, and 5.8% reporting symptoms 12–16 weeks after infection. By comparison, matched controls reported symptoms at rates of 3.8% and 3.1%, respectively.

Meanwhile, younger participants aged 2-11 and 12-16 saw the lowest reporting rates of symptoms at 12-16 weeks, at 3.2% and 3%, respectively. The parent reported symptoms on the child’s behalf. Additional outcomes observed a longer prevalence of COVID at 12–16 weeks among women compared to men (5.4% versus 4.5%) respectively and among those without underlying medical conditions (7.4%). vs 4.5%).

The study had limitations due to its observational nature, reliance on self-reported data, and the small number of control participants who are still reporting symptoms in further analyses. (Another analysis attempted to assess “duration of persistent symptoms,” or potentially “strong evidence” supporting a prolonged COVID incidence, at any time after infection. symptom reports, although data were missing for control participants by age.)

“Due to the observational nature of this analysis, it is not possible to say with certainty whether the symptoms reported after testing positive for the coronavirus were due to COVID-19 or something else,” the authors said.


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