The 5 things putting you at greater risk of long Covid – as app tool predicts worst hit

PEOPLE recovering from the coronavirus are suffering for weeks after catching the illness and an app has revealed those who are most at risk of long Covid.

Around one in 50 patients suffer for three months and researchers from King’s College London have stated that there are five factors that put you at risk of ongoing suffering.

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Data from the Covid Symptom Study app found that hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are suffering from long-Covid.

The umbrella term covers those who have recovered from the bug – but have since been left with issues such as fatigue, respiratory problems and mental health issues.

Many people who are suffering with long-Covid have claimed they have to use a wheel chair due to the debilitating impact of the illness.

Health minister Lord Bethell today said that the evidence from the app was "worrying".

He said the public must continue to be aware their behaviour has a huge impact on the spread of this virus and they must take the necessary precautions.

But what are the five factors that are putting you at greater risk of suffering from long-Covid?

1. Weight

While we've long known that weight is a key risk factor in patients who have the coronavirus, the King's College team revealed that weight is also a factor when it comes to recovery.

Research from the US has previously shown that younger people admitted to hospital with the virus were more likely to be obese.

In the UK, 73 per cent of people admitted to intensive care were obese or overweight.

Additional research also found that people who are obese are 33 per cent more likely to die if they get the illness.

The researchers found that people developing long Covid have a slightly higher average body mass index (BMI) than those experiencing a short illness.

2. Asthma

At the start of the pandemic asthmatics were warned to shield due to the fact that the virus is an illness that attacks the lungs.

The King's College researchers found that people with Asthma were more likely to develop long-Covid than those who do not suffer from the condition.

The researchers did however state that there were no clear links to any other underlying health conditions.

3. Age

As well as those with underlying respiratory conditions, people over the age of 70 were advised to shield at the start of the pandemic.

This was so the nation could protect those who were more likely to die from the virus.

The team found that older people were more likely to suffer symptoms of long Covid than their younger counterparts who also caught the illness.

4. Women

The app also found that women were 50 per cent more likely to suffer from long Covid than men, but only among the under-50s age group.

Previous studies had found that men were more likely to die of the coronavirus.

Data from the app however shows that when it comes to long lasting symptoms – women tend to suffer more.

 

5. Multiple symptoms

The study found that those experiencing more than five symptoms during the first week of illness were more than three times more likely to experience long Covid.

The top three symptoms of the coronavirus are a loss of taste and smell, a new persistent cough and a high temperature.

People have also previously said they have experienced headaches and fatigue due to the virus.

Meanwhile, those with long Covid were twice as likely to say their symptoms had come back again after initial recovery compared with those having a short illness (16 per cent compared to 8.4 per cent).

It comes as other data from Public Health England (PHE) suggests around 10 per cent of people with Covid-19 not admitted to hospital have reported symptoms lasting more than four weeks.

The new study, led by Dr Claire Steves and Professor Tim Spector, included data from 4,182 Covid Symptom Study app users who tested positive for Covid-19 following a swab and who have been logging their health on an ongoing basis.

Prof Spector said the new King's study showed that as well "as worrying about excess deaths, we also need to consider those who will be affected by long Covid if we don't get the pandemic under control soon."

He added: "As we wait for a vaccine, it is vital that we all work together to stem the spread of coronavirus via lifestyle changes and more rigorous self-isolating with symptoms or positive tests."

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