Scientific article
Open access

Characteristics of long-COVID among older adults: a cross-sectional study

Published inInternational journal of infectious diseases, vol. 125, p. 287-293
Publication date2022-12
First online date2022-10-01

Objectives: To describe long-COVID symptoms among older adults and to assess the risk factors for two common long-COVID symptoms: fatigue and dyspnea.

Methods: This is a multicenter, prospective cohort study conducted in Israel, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. Individuals were included at least 30 days after their COVID-19 diagnosis. We compared long-COVID symptoms between elderly (aged >65 years) and younger individuals (aged 18-65 years) and conducted univariate and multivariable analyses for the predictors of long-COVID fatigue and dyspnea.

Results: A total of 2333 individuals were evaluated at an average of 5 months (146 days [95% confidence interval 142-150]) after COVID-19 onset. The mean age was 51 years, and 20.5% were aged >65 years. Older adults were more likely to be symptomatic, with the most common symptoms being fatigue (38%) and dyspnea (30%); they were more likely to complain of cough and arthralgia and have abnormal chest imaging and pulmonary function tests. Independent risk factors for long-COVID fatigue and dyspnea included female gender, obesity, and closer proximity to COVID-19 diagnosis; older age was not an independent predictor.

Conclusion: Older individuals with long-COVID have different persisting symptoms, with more pronounced pulmonary impairment. Women and individuals with obesity are at risk. Further research is warranted to investigate the natural history of long-COVID among the elderly population and to assess possible interventions aimed at promoting rehabilitation and well-being.

  • COVID-19
  • Long-COVID
  • Long-lasting symptoms
  • Older adults
  • Post-COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 Testing
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity
  • Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
  • Prospective Studies
Citation (ISO format)
DAITCH, Vered et al. Characteristics of long-COVID among older adults: a cross-sectional study. In: International journal of infectious diseases, 2022, vol. 125, p. 287–293. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2022.09.035
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
Secondary files (1)
ISSN of the journal1201-9712

Technical informations

Creation05/26/2023 11:10:20 AM
First validation07/04/2023 2:30:26 PM
Update time07/04/2023 2:30:26 PM
Status update07/04/2023 2:30:26 PM
Last indexation08/31/2023 11:55:03 AM
All rights reserved by Archive ouverte UNIGE and the University of GenevaunigeBlack