A study published by researchers from Israel’s Maccabi Healthcare Services HMO has found that long Covid – lingering symptoms after recovery from Covid-19 – affects one in three people.
In September 2021, the researchers asked 2,755 subjects (819 who had Covid-19 one to six months previously and 936 who did not) for details about their demographic status, medical history, Covid-related variables and the presence of long-Covid symptoms.
About 34.6% of participants reported not returning to their baseline health condition for around five months after the acute illness has passed.
The most prevalent long Covid symptoms among those who had been infected were decreased smell sensation (35.1%), decreased taste sensation (25.2%), memory disturbances (36.9%), shortness of breath (24.2% and joint stiffness (33%).
The study results identified risk factors for long Covid including female gender, symptomatic Covid-19, overweight or obesity and lipid imbalances such as high cholesterol.
“Long-COVID may significantly impact human health in years to come, and surveys to date estimate that 80% of patients will develop at least one symptom following SARS-CoV-2 infection,” wrote the research team headed by Limor Adler, who also is a faculty member at Tel Aviv University’s medical school.
“Primary healthcare practitioners and healthcare providers can expect long-COVID to be a significant source of healthcare demands in the coming months and perhaps years.”