According to the investigation by Dartmouth College and the University College London, one in seven Americans -- about 14 percent -- had Long COVID by the end of 2022.
Long COVID occurs when symptoms of the virus persist for more than three months after the initial infections. Those symptoms typically included extreme fatigue, breathlessness, muscle weakness, and cognitive dysfunction or "brain fog."
Those who report having experienced Long COVID said they also experienced more anxiety, low mood, and difficulty with memory, according to the study, which was based on data from 461,550 respondents to the US Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, conducted from June 2022 to December 2022
About half of those who have had Long COVID said they were currently experiencing ongoing symptoms, according to the findings.
The study also found that Long COVID was more common in women than men, with rates also elevated among white people, middle-aged people, and people with lower incomes or educational attainment, while being most common in West Virginia (18 percent of the population) and least common in Hawaii (11 percent).
Long COVID was also much more common among people who had severe symptoms during the initial COVID-19 infection.
Having had Long COVID is associated with anxiety and low mood, as well as an increased likelihood of continued physical mobility problems and challenges with memory, concentration, or understanding, the study determined.
“Here, we have found that Long COVID continues to affect millions of people in the US, with some groups much more affected than others," study co-author Alex Bryson, PhD. of the University College London Social Research Institute said. "Those who have ever had Long COVID remain more likely to report low mood, challenges in carrying out daily tasks, and challenges with memory, concentration, and understanding, compared to people who have never had Long COVID.”
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