1 in 5 Adults Have a Health Condition Related to Previous COVID-19 Illness 

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

An early post on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 will be posted officially in CDC’s MMWR on Friday, May 27, 2022. Post–COVID Conditions Among Adult COVID-19 Survivors Aged 18–64 and ≥65 Years — United States, March 2020–November 2021 is a serious and sobering read. The article highlights the analysis of a large EHR-based database of surviving U.S. adults. Below is an infographic that illustrates the issue:

“This finding translates 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.

These findings are consistent with those from several large studies that indicated that post-COVID incident conditions occur in 20%–30% of patients (6,7), and that a proportion of patients require expanded follow-up care after the initial infection. COVID-19 severity and illness duration can affect patients’ health care needs and economic well-being (8). The occurrence of incident conditions following infection might also affect a patient’s ability to contribute to the workforce and might have economic consequences for survivors and their dependents, particularly among adults aged 18–64 years (5). In addition, care requirements might place a strain on health services after acute illness in communities that experience heavy COVID-19 case surges.

COVID-19 survivors aged ≥65 years in this study were at increased risk for neurologic conditions, as well as for four of five mental health conditions (mood disorders, other mental conditions, anxiety, and substance-related disorders). Neurocognitive symptoms have been reported to persist for up to 1 year after acute infection and might persist longer (9). Overall, 45.4% of survivors aged ≥65 years in this study had incident conditions. Among adults aged ≥65 years, who are already at higher risk for stroke and neurocognitive impairment, post-COVID conditions affecting the nervous system are of particular concern because these conditions can lead to early entry into supportive services or investment of additional resources into care (10).”

Note that this analysis also provides information regarding adults in the 18-64 age range.

The 5-page PDF of this important report can be found here. Be sure to review the Table, Figure and Reference documents as well.