During the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, researchers estimate that the long-term prevalence of Covid in the general population could be anywhere between 20% and 40%. About 8 to 23 million Americans developed long-term Covid after surviving waves of infection.
Although the condition is more common among women, each individual may experience Covid longer through a wide range of neurological and psychiatric symptoms with symptoms such as brain fog, inattentiveness and memory problems. There is.
In a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, a group of researchers found that women who had a healthy lifestyle before Covid-19 contracted had a significantly lower risk of contracting Covid-19. bottom. “Persistent inflammation has been implicated in post-Covid-19 conditions (PCC) or long-term Covid symptoms involving multiple organs. related,” the researchers wrote in their study.
“Healthy lifestyle factors such as a healthy body mass index, smoking cessation, a healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, regular exercise and adequate sleep have been shown to prevent inflammation,” they said. added.
A team enrolled participants in the Nurses’ Health Study II to explore the association between a healthy lifestyle before an individual tested positive for Covid and the risk of developing Covid later.1989 , the study enrolled 116,429 nurses aged 25 to 42 years living in the United States. The researchers used data from 32,000 female nurses who completed a questionnaire that delved into their lifestyle habits from 2015 to 2017 and also provided their history of Covid-19 infections from April 2020 to November 2021. more than 97% of them were Caucasian.
During that period, 1900 nurses tested positive for Covid-19. Of those, 44% had Covid symptoms for a long time. Among them, 87% or 758 nurses reported symptoms lasting at least 2 months. Another 56.5% reported that they occasionally experienced long-term Covid-related disturbances in their daily lives. “The most common symptoms were fatigue (57.1%), smell or taste problems (40.9%), shortness of breath (25.3%), confusion, disorientation or brain fog (21.6%), and memory problems (20%). ),” the researchers observed further after analyzing the data.
“Women who had five or six healthy lifestyle factors had a 49% lower long-term risk of Covid compared to women who did not adhere to any healthy lifestyle factors.” The association was primarily driven by healthy weight and adequate sleep,” they added.
The researchers further explained that different types of biological mechanisms could explain the associations they observed. First of all, all unhealthy lifestyle factors they examined were repeatedly associated with higher risk of chronic inflammation in previous studies.
“Persistent systemic inflammation is implicated in long-lasting Covid outbreaks. “It’s possible that these unhealthy lifestyle factors dysregulate adaptive autoimmunity, which is more likely to affect people who have had COVID-19 for a long time,” the researchers explained. Also, unhealthy lifestyle factors (obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol consumption) predispose to blood coagulation abnormalities, another pathophysiological change observed in long-term Covid patients. “
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