Long-term physical and mental health outcomes after COVID-19 occur in all ages



Following COVID-19 infection, there is significant new onset morbidity in children, adolescents and adults across 13 distinct diagnosis and symptom complexes, according to a new study publishing November 10 in the open access journal PLOS Medicine by Martin Roessler of Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, and colleagues.

Studies have established that some people infected with COVID-19 suffer long-term health problems following the acute phase of the disease. However, evidence on post-acute (post-COVID-19) syndrome is still limited, especially for children and adolescents.

In the new study, using a health care dataset covering nearly half the German population and spanning all of 2019 and 2020, researchers identified patients with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

They then compared the occurrence of pre-specified diagnoses, entered into the medical record at least three months post-infection, in these patients (11,950 children and adolescent and 145,184 adults) to a control cohort of more than 750,000 individuals with matched age, sex and pre-existing medical conditions, without PCR-confirmed COVID-19.

Overall, children and adolescents who had been infected with COVID-19 were 30% more likely than controls to have documented health problems beginning three months or more after infection (436.91 vs 335.98 per 1,000 person-years, IRR=1.30, 95% CI=1.25–1.35, p