More information is coming out about long Covid.
**More than 1 in 5 adult Covid survivors in the U.S. may develop long Covid, a C.D.C. study suggests.**
**Researchers identified lasting health problems in many different organ systems, including the heart, lungs and kidneys.**
**By Pam Belluck, The New York Times, May 24, 2022**
**One in five adult Covid survivors under the age of 65 in the United States has experienced at least one health condition that could be considered long Covid, according to a large new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among patients 65 and older, the number is even higher: one in four....**
**Long Covid is the term used to describe an array of symptoms that can last for months or longer after the initial coronavirus infection. The researchers identified post-Covid health problems in many different organ systems, including the heart, lungs and kidneys. Other issues involved blood circulation, the musculoskeletal system and the endocrine system; gastrointestinal conditions, neurological problems and psychiatric symptoms were also identified in the study.**
**In both age groups, Covid patients had twice the risk of uninfected people of developing respiratory symptoms and lung problems, including pulmonary embolism, the study found. Post-Covid patients aged 65 and older were at greater risk than the younger group of developing kidney failure, neurological conditions and most mental health conditions....**
**The study evaluated electronic medical records for nearly two million people — comparing those who had been infected with the coronavirus with those who were not....** [end quote]
The great thing about giant data sets is that the conclusions are highly reliable. Of the 2 million patients in the study, 1/4 had Covid and 3/4 had medical visits for other, non-Covid conditions for comparison. These groups were compared. Among those aged 18 to 64, Covid survivors were no more likely than uninfected people to develop most mental health conditions, substance use disorders or strokes and similar cerebrovascular conditions. But these working-age Covid survivors did have a higher risk of 22 other medical conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and neurologic problems. Covid patients of all ages had twice the risk of uninfected people of developing respiratory symptoms and lung problems, including pulmonary embolism.
The study used records beginning in March 2020 and ending in August 2021. This was before vaccines were widely available. It doesn’t tell us whether vaccinated people who had breakthrough Covid infections are at lower risk from long Covid.
The Macroeconomic impact of long Covid will be on the work force. Considering the huge numbers of Covid patients and the high incidence of long Covid among working-age people, the impact could be a decline in labor force participation. Certainly, the cost of medical care will be permanently shifted upward as many younger people develop Covid-related chronic diseases.
New cases are up 40% in the past 2 weeks and hospitalizations up 30%.
Total U.S. Covid cases 83,457,379 so far.