Prolonged Covid-19 seriously shakes up feelings of health, first-of-its-kind Israeli study finds

Prolonged Covid-19 seriously shakes up feelings of health, first-of-its-kind Israeli study finds

Long Covid is dealing a serious blow to the well-being of millions of people around the world, according to a first-of-its-kind Israeli study.

A research team led by Bar Ilan University, along with affiliated hospitals in northern Israel, found that just one prolonged Covid symptom can reduce a person’s well-being by more than 10 percent.

Although prolonged covid — chronic symptoms after infection with the COVID-19 virus — is anecdotally common, there is little research exploring the extent to which it poses a challenge to well-being as opposed to a tolerable discomfort.

The New research A well-established use has been made Questionnaire for subjective well-being which was developed by the World Health Organization. It has been found that with each symptom people suffer, the reported sense of well-being decreases further.

People who experienced three different symptoms – common among those with prolonged Covid – reported a sense of well-being that was 30% lower than people of the same age and social demographic who did not suffer from prolonged Covid.

“If you imagine losing a third of your sense of well-being as a result of prolonged Covid symptoms, it suggests that they are having a very real, lasting and profound impact on the well-being of many around the world,” lead author Professor Michael Edelstein told The Times of Israel.

Illustrative image: Family members visit a family member in the coronavirus ward of Ziv Medical Center in the northern city of Safed on February 15, 2022. (David Cohen/Flash90)

“The big takeaway message is that the symptoms people experience aren’t just things they report without being too distressed by them — as some suspect — but they can have a profound impact on life and well-being.”

The authors state in their article that “to our knowledge, this is the first study to address the impact on subjective well-being of the most commonly reported post-Covid-19 symptoms.”

On the positive side, the study indicates that symptoms that are more physical in nature do not have the same lasting impact on well-being. Once patients passed 12 months post-infection, the researchers stopped detecting significant impairments to well-being from physical symptoms, including muscle weakness and muscle pain.

The study, which is still undergoing peer-review but has already been published online, analyzed the health of 2,295 people, 576 of whom were infected with the coronavirus.

Looking at a period of 3-18 months after infection, the researchers found that sleep disorders decreased by about 11.5 percentage points, confusion and lack of concentration by 10.7 percentage points, and fatigue by 7.7 percentage points. .

Epidemiologist Michael Edelstein. (Courtesy: Michael Edelstein)

Edelstein said that while the damage to well-being is difficult to quantify, the statistics strongly suggest that it is taking a serious toll and indicate that the challenges presented by prolonged Covid to health authorities around the world are multifaceted.

The effects could range from care for physical symptoms to increased pressure on mental health services in the coming years, he said.

“The idea behind this paper is that there is evidence that a high proportion of people report symptoms after initial infection,” Edelstein said.

“Criticisms of this study on long-term Covid incidence noted that it reported symptoms but did not explore how it was affecting people’s lives, so we set out to answer these questions,” he added.

“Prolonged Covid is going to be a public health burden in the coming months and years, so it’s important to understand how it affects people.”

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