The frequency of, and risk factors for, long COVID are unclear among community-based individuals with a history of COVID-19. To elucidate the burden and possible causes of long COVID in the community, we coordinated analyses of survey data from 6907 individuals with self-reported COVID-19 from 10 UK longitudinal study (LS) samples and 1.1 million individuals with COVID-19 diagnostic codes in electronic healthcare records (EHR) collected by spring 2021. Proportions of presumed COVID-19 cases in LS reporting any symptoms for 12+ weeks ranged from 7.8% and 17% (with 1.2 to 4.8% reporting debilitating symptoms). Increasing age, female sex, white ethnicity, poor pre-pandemic general and mental health, overweight/obesity, and asthma were associated with prolonged symptoms in both LS and EHR data, but findings for other factors, such as cardio-metabolic parameters, were inconclusive.

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Thompson, E., Williams, D., Walker, A., Mitchell, R., Niedzwiedz, C., Yang, T., Huggins, C., Kwong, A., Silverwood, R., Di Gessa, G., Bowyer, R., Northstone, K., Hou, B., Green, M., Dodgeon, B., Doores, K., Duncan, E., Williams, F., Steptoe, A., Porteous, D., McEachan, R., Tomlinson, L., Goldacre, B., Patalay, P., Ploubidis, G., Katikireddi, S., Tilling, K., Rentsch, C., Timpson, N., Chaturvedi, N. & Steves, C. 2022, 'Long COVID burden and risk factors in 10 UK longitudinal studies and electronic health records', Nature Communications, 13, article no: 3528 . http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30836-0

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Last updated: 17 June 2023
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