DataSheet4_Long COVID Through a Public Health Lens: An Umbrella Review.doc
Objectives: To synthesize existing evidence on prevalence as well as clinical and socio-economic aspects of Long COVID.
Methods: An umbrella review of reviews and a targeted evidence synthesis of their primary studies, including searches in four electronic databases, reference lists of included reviews, as well as related article lists of relevant publications.
Results: Synthesis included 23 reviews and 102 primary studies. Prevalence estimates ranged from 7.5% to 41% in non-hospitalized adults, 2.3%–53% in mixed adult samples, 37.6% in hospitalized adults, and 2%–3.5% in primarily non-hospitalized children. Preliminary evidence suggests that female sex, age, comorbidities, the severity of acute disease, and obesity are associated with Long COVID. Almost 50% of primary studies reported some degree of Long COVID-related social and family-life impairment, long absence periods off work, adjusted workloads, and loss of employment.
Conclusion: Long COVID will likely have a substantial public health impact. Current evidence is still heterogeneous and incomplete. To fully understand Long COVID, well-designed prospective studies with representative samples will be essential.