Post–COVID conditions among adult covid-19 survivors aged 18–64 and ≥65 years — United States, March 2020–November 2021
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Post–COVID conditions among adult covid-19 survivors aged 18–64 and ≥65 years — United States, March 2020–November 2021

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      What is already known about this topic? As more persons are exposed to and infected by SARS-CoV-2, reports of patients who experience persistent symptoms or organ dysfunction after acute COVID-19 and develop post-COVID conditions have increased. What is added by this report? COVID-19 survivors have twice the risk for developing pulmonary embolism or respiratory conditions; one in five COVID-19 survivors aged 18–64 years and one in four survivors aged ≥65 years experienced at least one incident condition that might be attributable to previous COVID-19. What are the implications for public health practice? Implementation of COVID-19 prevention strategies, as well as routine assessment for post-COVID conditions among persons who survive COVID-19, is critical to reducing the incidence and impact of post-COVID conditions, particularly among adults aged ≥65 years. A growing number of persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have reported persistent symptoms, or the onset of long-term symptoms, ≥4 weeks after acute COVID-19; these symptoms are commonly referred to as post-COVID conditions, or long COVID (1). Electronic health record (EHR) data during March 2020–November 2021, for persons in the United States aged ≥18 years were used to assess the incidence of 26 conditions often attributable to post-COVID (hereafter also referred to as incident conditions) among patients who had received a previous COVID-19 diagnosis (case-patients) compared with the incidence among matched patients without evidence of COVID-19 in the EHR (control patients). The analysis was stratified by two age groups (persons aged 18–64 and ≥65 years). Patients were followed for 30–365 days after the index encounter until one or more incident conditions were observed or through October 31, 2021 (whichever occurred first). Among all patients aged ≥18 years, 38% of case-patients experienced an incident condition compared with 16% of controls; conditions affected multiple systems, and included cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, renal, endocrine, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, neurologic, and psychiatric signs and symptoms. By age group, the highest risk ratios (RRs) were for acute pulmonary embolism (RR = 2.1 and 2.2 among persons aged 18–64 and ≥65 years, respectively) and respiratory signs and symptoms (RR = 2.1 in both age groups). Among those aged 18–64 years, 35.4% of case-patients experienced an incident condition compared with 14.6% of controls. Among those aged ≥65 years, 45.4% of case-patients experienced an incident condition compared with 18.5% of controls. These findings translate to one in five COVID-19 survivors aged 18–64 years, and one in four survivors aged ≥65 years experiencing an incident condition that might be attributable to previous COVID-19. Implementation of COVID-19 prevention strategies, as well as routine assessment for post-COVID conditions among persons who survive COVID-19, is critical to reducing the incidence and impact of post-COVID, particularly among adults aged ≥65 years (2). Suggested citation for this article: Bull-Otterson L, Baca S, Saydah S, et al. Post–COVID Conditions Among Adult COVID-19 Survivors Aged 18–64 and ≥65 Years — United States, March 2020–November 2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 24 May 2022. mm7121e1.htm?s_cid=mm7121e1_w mm7121e1-H.pdf
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