Background: We aimed to quantify the unknown losses in health-related quality of life of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases using quality-adjusted lifedays (QALDs) and the recommended EQ-5D instrument in England. Methods: Prospective cohort study of nonhospitalized, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-positive (SARS-CoV-2-positive) cases aged 12-85 years and followed up for 6 months from 1 December 2020, with cross-sectional comparison to SARS-CoV-2-negative controls. Main outcomes were QALD losses; physical symptoms; and COVID-19-related private expenditures. We analyzed results using multivariable regressions with post hoc weighting by age and sex, and conditional logistic regressions for the association of each symptom and EQ-5D limitation on cases and controls. Results: Of 548 cases (mean age 41.1 years; 61.5% female), 16.8% reported physical symptoms at month 6 (most frequently extreme tiredness, headache, loss of taste and/or smell, and shortness of breath). Cases reported more limitations with doing usual activities than controls. Almost half of cases spent a mean of £18.1 on nonprescription drugs (median: £10.0), and 52.7% missed work or school for a mean of 12 days (median: 10). On average, all cases lost 13.7 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 9.7, 17.7) QALDs, whereas those reporting symptoms at month 6 lost 32.9 (95% CI: 24.5, 37.6) QALDs. Losses also increased with older age. Cumulatively, the health loss from morbidity contributes at least 18% of the total COVID-19-related disease burden in the England. Conclusions: One in 6 cases report ongoing symptoms at 6 months, and 10% report prolonged loss of function compared to pre-COVID-19 baselines. A marked health burden was observed among older COVID-19 cases and those with persistent physical symptoms.
|Journal||Clinical Infectious Diseases|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jul 2022|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 Crown copyright.
- long COVID
- related quality of life