WARNING! Canadian Study Finds That For Individuals Over 50, Even A Mild SARS-CoV-2 Infection Can Result In Serious Mobility Issues!
: A new study by Canadian researchers from McMaster University, University of Calgary, McGill University and Dalhousie University has found that individuals over the age of 50 who experience mild or moderate COVID-19 are at greater risk of worsening mobility and physical function even if hospitalization is not required to treat the SARS-CoV-2 infection!
The cohort study of 24 114 participants found that community-living middle-aged and older adults with confirmed, probable, or suspected COVID-19 had nearly 2-fold higher odds of worsening mobility and physical function compared with adults without COVID-19, although most participants with COVID-19 had mild to moderate disease and were not hospitalized.
These Long COVID
study findings suggest that individuals with mild and moderate COVID-19 who were predominantly not hospitalized experienced deficits in functional mobility compared with those without COVID-19.
Prior to the study, the association of COVID-19 not requiring hospitalization with functional mobility in community-dwelling adults above and beyond the impact of the pandemic control measures implemented in 2020 remained elucidated.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between a COVID-19 diagnosis and change in mobility and physical function of adults in Canada aged 50 years or older during the initial pandemic lockdown.
The population-based cohort study used data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) COVID-19 study. This study was launched on April 15, 2020, and the exit questionnaires were completed between September and December 2020. Pre-pandemic data from the first CLSA follow-up (2015-2018) were also used. Respondents included middle-aged and older community-dwelling participants residing in Canadian provinces. Data were analyzed from February to May 2021.
Changes in mobility since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic were assessed using global rating of change in mobility scales at the COVID-19 exit questionnaire. Participant-reported new onset of difficulty in 3 physical function tasks was also examined.
Among 51 338 participants at baseline, 21 491 participants (41.9%) were 65 years or older and 26 155 participants (51.0%) were women and 25 183 (49.1%) were men. Of 2748 individuals with confirmed or probable or suspected COVID-19, 113 (94.2%) were not hospitalized.
The study findings showed that individuals with confirmed or probable COVID-19 had higher odds of worsening mobility in terms of ability to engage in household activity (odds ratio [OR], 1.89; 95% CI, 1.11-3.22), physical activity (OR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.32-2.76), and standing up after sitting in a chair (OR, 2.33; 95% CI, 1.06-5.11) compared with adults without COVID-19 during the same pandemic time period. Similar results were found for suspected COVID-19 status (eg, household activity: OR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.82-2.41).
The research findings of this cohort study among older adults in Canada found that receiving a COVID-19 diagnosis was significantly associated with worse mobility and functioning outcomes even in the absence of hospitalization.
Importantly, the study suggest that interventions may be needed for individuals wi
th mild to moderate COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization.
The study findings were published in the peer reviewed journal: JAMA Network Open – Geriatrics. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2787975
The study findings, which used data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), highlight the burden of COVID-19 among middle-aged and older adults who are not hospitalized, and suggest that many patients who experience even mild COVID-19 have persistent and troublesome symptoms.
The study team looked at mobility issues including difficulty getting up from sitting in a chair, ability to walk up and down stairs without assistance and walking two to three neighborhood blocks, as well as changes in participants' ability to move around the home, engage in housework and physical activity.
Dr Susan Kirkland, a Dalhousie research professor and head of the school's Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, co-authored the paper that is believed to be one of the first to evaluate the association between mobility and COVID-19 in older adults.
Dr Kirkland told Thailand Medical News
, “Worryingly, the study findings showed that even those with mild and moderate illness due to COVID-19 experienced adverse changes in mobility and physical function compared to individuals without COVID-19.”
She added, "These study findings are worth noting because they indicate that the negative effects of COVID-19 are much broader and impact a wider range of older adults than those who are hospitalized for COVID-19."
The study showed that individuals with COVID-19 had nearly double the odds of worsening mobility and physical function compared to those without COVID-19, although most had mild or moderate symptoms. Of the 2,748 individuals with confirmed, probable or suspected COVID-19, 94 percent were not hospitalized.
Participants with confirmed or probable COVID-19 had double the odds of worsening ability to engage in household activities and participate in physical activity than those without COVID-19. Similar results were found for those with suspected COVID-19.
Dr Marla Beauchamp, an assistant professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science at McMaster said, "The study findings showed there was a higher risk for mobility problems in individuals who were older, had lower income, those with three or more chronic conditions, low physical activity and poorer nutrition."
She added, "However, those factors alone did not account for the mobility problems we observed among people with COVID-19. Rehabilitation strategies need to be developed for adults who avoid hospitalization due to COVID-19 but still need support to restore their mobility and physical function."
The study team concluded that there is a need to further understand the long-term impacts of COVID-19 and consider "the development and implementation of effective intervention and management approaches to address any persistent deficits in mobility and functioning among those living in the community."
For more about the effects of asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 infections on long term health and medical conditions or Long COVID
, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.