Prevalence and risk factors of long COVID 6–12 months after infection with the Omicron variant among nonhospitalized patients in Hong Kong

Jingyuan Luo, Jialing Zhang, Hiu To Tang, Hoi Ki Wong, Aiping Lyu, Chun Hoi Cheung*, Zhaoxiang Bian*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Long COVID has been reported among patients with COVID-19, but little is known about the prevalence and risk factors associated with long COVID 6–12 months after infection with the Omicron variant. This is a large-scale retrospective study. A total of 6242 out of 12 950 nonhospitalized subjects of all ages with SARS-CoV-2 infection (confirmed by polymerase chain reaction/rapid antigen test) during the Omicron dominant outbreak (December 31, 2021–May 6, 2022) in Hong Kong were included. Prevalence of long COVID, frequencies of symptoms, and risk factors were analyzed. Three thousand four hundred and thirty (55.0%) subjects reported at least one long COVID symptom. The most reported symptom was fatigue (1241, 36.2%). Female gender, middle age, obesity, comorbidities, vaccination after infection, having more symptoms, and presenting fatigue/chest tightness/headache/diarrhea in the acute stage of illness were identified as associated risk factors for long COVID. Patients who had received three or more doses of vaccine were not associated with a lower risk of long COVID (adjusted odds ratio 1.105, 95% confidence interval 0.985–1.239, p = 0.088). Among patients with at least three doses of vaccine, there was no significant difference in the risk of long COVID between the CoronaVac vaccine and BNT162b2 vaccine (p > 0.05). Omicron infection can lead to long COVID in a significant proportion of nonhospitalized patients 6–12 months after infection. Further investigation is needed to uncover the mechanisms underlying the development of long COVID and determine the impact of various risk factors such as vaccines.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere28862
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Volume95
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

User-Defined Keywords

  • long COVID
  • Omicron
  • risk factors
  • symptom

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