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New evaluation study: Almost all long-Covid patients were already ill before

A corona infection is “always a long-Covid risk,” warns Health Minister Karl Lauterbach. And: The disease is “mega underestimated”, is a “huge problem”, the minister told Zeit Online.

Millions of patients tremble before the long-term consequences of the virus disease - perhaps wrongly? A new study suggests so. The Central Institute of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (ZI) evaluated patient data. Lessons learned: Long Covid almost never occurs in healthy individuals. In 24 out of 25 cases, long-Covid patients already had at least one previous illness.

ZI boss Dominik von Stillfried to Bild: “96 percent of the long-Covid cases were already under medical treatment the year before. The data show: Long-Covid patients have pre-existing conditions such as respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, obesity and mental illnesses more frequently than the general population.”

Specifically, the ZI evaluated the data of all statutory health insurance practices.

Result: In 2021, around 880,000 patients with long-Covid symptoms were registered. Around one percent of cases were severe and associated with protracted symptoms. Two thirds of the patients were symptom-free after a maximum of three months.

Von Stillfried: “There is a case of a young woman who has never had anything and then suffers from massive long-Covid complications after infection – but only very, very rarely. You have to counter the impression that post-Covid everyone has to deal with post-Covid and severe effects – the data doesn’t show that.”

The head of neurology in Essen, Prof. Christoph Kleinschnitz, confirms the results of the ZI.

Kleinschnitz: “Previous psychiatric illnesses are the biggest risk factor for Long Covid. We have no evidence that the coronavirus causes severe or frequent damage to the nervous system.” More than 500 patients were treated in the long-Covid outpatient clinic at Essen University Hospital. According to Kleinschnitz, there was no measurable organic reason for the symptoms in 90 percent.

Source: Bild
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