Self-Reported Long COVID in the General Population: Sociodemographic and Health Correlates in a Cross-National Sample

Bonsaksen, Tore, Leung, Janni, Price, Daicia, Ruffolo, Mary, Lamph, Gary orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4099-2812, Kabelenga, Issac, Thygesen, Hilde and Geirdal, Amy Østertun (2022) Self-Reported Long COVID in the General Population: Sociodemographic and Health Correlates in a Cross-National Sample. Life, 12 .

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Official URL: https:// doi.org/10.3390/life12060901

Abstract

We aimed to gain knowledge of possible sociodemographic predictors of long COVID and
whether long COVID was associated with health outcomes almost two years after the pandemic
outbreak. There were 1649 adults who participated in the study by completing a cross-sectional
online survey disseminated openly in Norway, the UK, the USA, and Australia between November
2021 and January 2022. Participants were defined as having long COVID based on self-reports that
they had been infected by COVID-19 and were experiencing long-lasting COVID symptoms. Logistic
regression analyses were used to examine possible sociodemographic predictors, and multivariate
analysis of variance was used to examine whether long COVID status was associated with health
outcomes. None of the sociodemographic variables was significantly associated with reporting long
COVID. Having long COVID was associated with higher levels of psychological distress, fatigue,
and perceived stress. The effect of long COVID on health outcomes was greater among men than
among women. In conclusion, long COVID appeared across sociodemographic groups. People with
long COVID reported worsened health outcomes compared to those who had had COVID-19 but
without long-term symptoms. Men experiencing long COVID appear to be particularly vulnerable to
experiencing poorer health outcomes; health services may pay extra attention to potentially unnoticed
needs for support among men experiencing long COVID.


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