Nearly One in Four Do Not Recover From COVID-19 by 90 Days

Female sex and preexisting cardiovascular disease tied to longer recovery times
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Just under one-quarter of adults with self-reported COVID-19 report they had not recovered by 90 days, according to a study published online June 17 in JAMA Network Open.

Elizabeth C. Oelsner, M.D., from the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues used data from 14 ongoing National Institutes of Health-funded cohorts to assess time to recovery following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and identify factors associated with recovery by 90 days. The analysis included 4,708 participants.

The researchers found that 22.5 percent of participants did not recover by 90 days postinfection, with a median time to recovery of 20 days. There were significant differences in restricted mean recovery time by 90 days postinfection, according to sociodemographic, clinical, and lifestyle characteristics, particularly by acute infection severity (outpatient versus critical hospitalization: 32.9 versus 57.6 days). Vaccination prior to infection (hazard ratio [HR], 1.30) and infection during the sixth wave (Omicron variant) versus the first wave (HR, 1.25) were associated with recovery by 90 days postinfection. Reduced severity of acute infection mediated these associations (33.4 and 17.6 percent, respectively). There was an unfavorable association between recovery and female sex (HR, 0.85) and prepandemic clinical cardiovascular disease (HR, 0.84). Similar results were seen for reinfections.

"These findings suggest that interventions to reduce severity of acute infection, such as vaccination, may help to mitigate the increased risk of persistent symptoms observed in women and adults with suboptimal prepandemic health," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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