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Long COVID and financial outcomes: evidence from four longitudinal population surveys

Rhead, Rebecca; Wels, Jacques; Moltrecht, Bettina; Shaw, Richard John; Silverwood, Richard; Zhu, Jingmin; Hughes, Alun; ... Ploubidis, George; + view all (2024) Long COVID and financial outcomes: evidence from four longitudinal population surveys. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 10.1136/jech-2023-221059. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Long-term sequelae of COVID-19 (long COVID) include muscle weakness, fatigue, breathing difficulties and sleep disturbance over weeks or months. Using UK longitudinal data, we assessed the relationship between long COVID and financial disruption. METHODS: We estimated associations between long COVID (derived using self-reported length of COVID-19 symptoms) and measures of financial disruption (subjective financial well-being, new benefit claims, changes in household income) by analysing data from four longitudinal population studies, gathered during the first year of the pandemic. We employed modified Poisson regression in a pooled analysis of the four cohorts adjusting for a range of potential confounders, including pre-pandemic (pre-long COVID) factors. RESULTS: Among the 20 112 observations across four population surveys, 13% reported having COVID-19 with symptoms that impeded their ability to function normally-10.7% had such symptoms for <4 weeks (acute COVID-19), 1.2% had such symptoms for 4-12 weeks (ongoing symptomatic COVID-19) and 0.6% had such symptoms for >12 weeks (post-COVID-19 syndrome). We found that post-COVID-19 syndrome was associated with worse subjective financial well-being (adjusted relative risk ratios (aRRRs)=1.57, 95% CI=1.25, 1.96) and new benefit claims (aRRR=1.79, CI=1.27, 2.53). Associations were broadly similar across sexes and education levels. These results were not meaningfully altered when scaled to represent the population by age. CONCLUSIONS: Long COVID was associated with financial disruption in the UK. If our findings reflect causal effects, extending employment protection and financial support to people with long COVID may be warranted.

Type: Article
Title: Long COVID and financial outcomes: evidence from four longitudinal population surveys
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/jech-2023-221059
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jech-2023-221059
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: COHORT STUDIES, COVID-19, EMPLOYMENT, EPIDEMIOLOGY
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10189601
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