Long COVID conditions can linger for weeks and even for months. The common symptoms of the condition are brain fog, fatigue, headaches, dizziness or shortness of breath. While researchers are still grappling to understand potential causes and trying to find treatments, a study has laid down a list of people who are disproportionately affected by the condition.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, said the influential factors behind the lasting impact of COVID-19 are age, gender, and BMI, Yahoo Finance reported.
What is long COVID?
This is a condition that came on the heels of the sweeping COVID-related deaths from 2019 through 2021. A person with a lasting bout of COVID-19 can experience COVID-specific symptoms for an extended period. Doctors fear the enduring symptoms can cause permanent damage to the lungs and kidneys, and possibly to the brain also.
According to the Yale School of Medicine, long COVID conditions may include “a lack of mental clarity, poor focus and concentration, memory problems, difficulty with multi-tasking, and more.”
Long COVID has been around ever since early 2021 when a third of people, who recovered from the disease, presented the symptoms.
A recent U.K.-based study has found that there is a certain group of people who can more commonly see their symptoms re-emerge and span months.
Who is at risk?
The study points out that women over 40, people who are obese, smokers, those who were immunosuppressed before COVID, people who were hospitalized with COVID, people who have conditions like anxiety, diabetes, asthma or COPD before COVID stand vulnerable.
To back up their claims, researchers examined the results of 41 published studies, with a combined total of more than 860,000 patients, and found the said groups were strongly linked to persisting cases of infection.
The study said that women and older people fall victim to long COVID. However, a potential common factor, which is pre-existing inflammation, can turn things far severe “even after recovery.” Hormones may be a common accelerator behind the inflammatory outburst in women, while obesity shares a proinflammatory profile with long COVID.
The researchers said that two doses of vaccines will be required to alter the harsh effects of long COVID. The study cited a recent report from the U.K. Office of National Statistics, which found those with two doses of the COVID vaccine had a 42% lower risk of developing the deadly condition.