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These COVID-19 patients suffer from new medical conditions

Some COVID-19 patients still suffer from new medical conditions after diagnosis

David Kartchner receives a COVID-19 test in Salt Lake City.
David Kartchner receives a COVID-19 test at the Martha H. Cannon Health Building in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 19, 2021.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

A new study suggests that thousands of Americans have sought medical care for health issues they have never had before they were infected with the novel coronavirus.

  • The study — which tracked health insurance records for 2 million people in the U.S. who got COVID-19 — found 23% sought medical care for new conditions.
  • The study followed patients one month or more after they were infected.

Per The New York Times, people of all ages were affected. The most common new health problems that emerged for patients included:

  • Nerve and muscle pain
  • Breathing problems
  • High cholesterol
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Intestinal issues
  • Migraines
  • Skin issues
  • Heart abnormalities
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

The study found that those who didn’t get sick from COVID-19 still faced a number of these problems.

  • “One thing that was surprising to us was the large percentage of asymptomatic patients that are in that category of long COVID,” said Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, a nonprofit organization that led the study, according to The New York Times.

However, the study did not compare those who had COVID-19 and those who didn’t, which means there’s no indication if symptoms were higher overall with the general U.S. population, according to Health Day.

  • “ The report did exclude patients with certain serious or chronic preexisting conditions like cancer, kidney disease, HIV, liver disease and stroke, to separate their previous health status from post-COVID symptoms,” per Health Day.

What is long-COVID?

The research suggests that “long-COVID” — which is a term used to describe issues that last a long time after COVID-19 diagnosis — is widespread among the symptomatic and asymptomatic.

“Long-COVID” had been a major concern for experts, who are seeking out answers to why people suffer these issues and what can be done about it, as I explained for the Deseret News.

How do you stop long-COVID?

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN that getting the COVID-19 vaccine might help stop long-COVID problems.