Long Covid is a Social Construct: Part II
Belated remarks on the study finding that patients who tested positive for SARS-2 were generally in a better state of health three months later, than those who tested negative.
“Association of Initial SARS-CoV-2 Test Positivity with Patient-Reported Well-being 3 Months After a Symptomatic Illness” is a JAMA paper comparing three-month outcomes in 1000 people with respiratory infections, 722 of whom tested positive for SARS-2, and 278 of whom tested negative. It’s already made the rounds, including this excellent write-up from friend-of-the-blog Igor Chudov, so I’ll be brief.
The question it asks, is whether people who recover from Corona are generally worse-off at the three-month mark, than people who tested negative and by implication recovered from some other respiratory infection. This is another way of asking whether Long Covid is a real thing or not. The punchline is that study participants with SARS-2 did better:
A total of 282 of 712 participants (39.6%) in the COVID-19–positive group and 147 of 275 participants (53.5%) in the COVID-19–negative group reported persistently poor physical, mental, or social well-being at 3-month follow-up. After adjustment, improvements in well-being were statistically and clinically greater for participants in the COVID-19–positive group vs the COVID-19–negative group only for social participation; changes in other well-being domains were not clinically different between groups. Improvements in well-being in the COVID-19–positive group were concentrated among participants aged 18 to 34 years … and those who presented for COVID-19 testing in an ambulatory setting ….
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