Study Reveals A Startling Number Of Health Conditions In Adults Who Had COVID-19

Once thought to mainly affect the lungs and respiratory system, researchers have discovered that COVID-19 infections can cause problems to many different organs and body systems. A 2022 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that people over 65 years of age who become infected with COVID-19 are more likely to suffer from a surprising number of new or ongoing medical conditions, compared to those never infected.

The researchers gathered health insurance data from over 133,000 people enrolled in Medicare and diagnosed with COVID-19. They found that one in three patients with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis were experiencing health complications after 30 days compared to one in five who never had COVID-19 (via Medical News Today). The study also found over a dozen different disorders among this group linked to COVID-19 infections, showing that long COVID can present in many different ways, according to BMJ.

What conditions persist after COVID-19?

According to the new study, respiratory failure was the most commonly diagnosed (new or persisting) condition after a COVID-19 infection in adults over 65, followed by hypertension, amnesia or memory problems, and kidney injury, according to BMJ. Cardiac arrhythmia disorders, dementia, diabetes, stroke, and coronary disease also made the list.

This adds to a growing body of research on long COVID, also called post COVID condition, and defined by the American Medical Association as a broad range of new or returning symptoms and health conditions that persist more than four weeks after infection. While scientists are still trying to figure out the exact mechanisms behind long COVID, studies like this show that it can manifest in many different systems and organs of the body and linger for long periods of time (via Vox). The U.S. government now considers long COVID a form of disability (per