Covid-19 sequelae affect one in five adults, new study finds

A new study conducted by the American Center for Disease Prevention and Control provides new clues about the consequences that covid-19 can cause, demonstrating that even after the period of infection, the virus can continue to leave traces, although less visible.

People with Covid-19 have a higher risk of developing health problems related to infection even after recovering from the disease and new figures prove it: the sequelae affect one in five adults under the age of 65. The conclusion is drawn from a new study conducted by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research followed more than 350,000 adults infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the United States. These individuals were followed using electronic health records for over a year. The aim was to see if they had developed any of the 26 health conditions linked to Covid-19, including heart disease, breathing difficulties, asthma, kidney disease, diabetes, neurological problems or Mental Health. For comparison, a group of 1.6 million adults who were not diagnosed with covid-19, but sought medical care for other reasons, were also observed.

The researchers concluded that the risk of developing any of these 26 problems is higher in adults who had covid-19 than in those who did not have the disease. And if we only look at breathing difficulties and pulmonary embolisms, the risk is even double for those who have had covid-19.

It should be noted that this study has certain limitations: a specific system of electronic health records was used, so the adults followed may not be representative of the North American population. It is also possible that certain health problems existed before the infection and were simply not diagnosed beforehand.

Nevertheless, the study provides new clues about the consequences of covid-19, demonstrating that even after the period of infection and symptoms, the virus can continue to leave traces, although less visible. These sequelae can last a long time, which is called “long-lasting covid” or “long covid”, in English. Long-term covid affects not only those who have developed severe illness, but also those who had no symptoms or only had mild symptoms.

Post-covid consultations are already frequent in several private clinics and even in some public hospitals. There is a set of evaluation tests that help to understand whether there are really sequelae or not, especially in asymptomatic patients.

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