The following is a summary of “Postacute sequelae of COVID-19 at 2 years,” published in the August 2023 issue of Infectious Diseases by Bowe et al.
There is a scarcity of evidence on SARS-CoV-2’s extended effects. In the retrospective study, the researcher aimed to postacute sequelae and risks of COVID-19 over two years.
The study included two groups, one with 138,818 individuals who had SARS-CoV-2 infection, and the second was a control group of 5,985,227 non-infected individuals from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. These groups were tracked for 2 years to assess mortality risks and 80 predefined postacute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), categorized by care settings during the acute infection phase.
After six months, the higher risk of death was insignificant in hospitalization. In contrast, it remained noticeably higher in hospitalized individuals over 2 years. Out of the 80 prespecified sequelae, 69% stopped being significant after 2 years for nonhospitalized people and 35% for hospitalized patients. Accumulatively over a span of 2 years, PASC made contributions of 80.4 (95% confidence interval (CI): 71.6–89.6) and 642.8 (95% CI: 596.9–689.3) disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) per 1,000 individuals in both nonhospitalized and hospitalized groups; 25.3% (18.9–31.0%) and 21.3% (18.2–24.5%) of the total cumulative DALYs in the nonhospitalized and hospitalized categories, respectively, were attributed to the second year.
The study demonstrated the diminished risks of various sequelae two years post-infection notwithstanding, the considerable cumulative health burden caused by PASC highlights the importance of addressing the care requirements for individuals experiencing prolonged health effects from SARS-CoV-2 infection.