People who have had COVID-19 are twice as likely as others to later develop a pulmonary embolism or respiratory problems, according to a study by American health officials released Tuesday.
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This work also shows that among people aged 18 to 64 who have contracted COVID-19, one in five will experience symptoms related to it after being infected. For those over 65, this number increases to one in four.
This proportion is in line with the results of previous studies, which have estimated that around 20 to 30% of the number of ex-COVID-19 patients have long-term symptoms, better known as long-term COVID.
A total of 26 health concerns potentially related to COVID-19 were investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on an extensive database of medical records across the United States.
The symptoms of patients who had COVID-19 after being infected (more than 350,000 people) were compared to patients who did not have it over a period from March 2020 to November 2021.
“Former COVID-19 patients are significantly more likely than the control group to develop disease attributable to a previous infection,” the CDC wrote.
The most common health problems were breathing difficulties and musculoskeletal pain.
For those aged 65 and over, all health concerns studied were more likely to occur after infection with COVID-19. In adults under 65 years of age, the risk remained unchanged for only a few (mental problems, cerebrovascular diseases, etc.).
Both groups were at greatest risk of respiratory symptoms and pulmonary embolism — blood clots that block an artery in the lungs, which can be fatal.
“Routine assessments of pathologies emerging after COVID-19 are critical to reducing their incidence and impact, particularly in people over the age of 65,” the CDC wrote.
They point out that the study did not take into account the vaccination status of the patients and was carried out before the variants currently in circulation appeared.