For these people, mild COVID-19 can still lead to dangerous health issues

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Scientists recently found adults over age 50 who experience mild or moderate COVID-19 are at greater risk of worsening mobility and physical function.

The findings highlight the burden of COVID-19 among middle-aged and older adults who are not hospitalized.

The research is published in JAMA Network Open and was conducted by Susan Kirkland et al.

In the study, the researchers surveyed more than 24,000 people over the age of 50 from across Canada during the initial phase of the lockdown in 2020 to determine the effect of a COVID diagnosis on their mobility.

The 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, and engage in housework and physical activity.

They 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.

Participants 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.

People with confirmed or probable COVID-19 had double the odds of worsening their 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.

The results showed there was a higher risk for mobility problems in people who were older, had lower income, those with three or more chronic conditions, low physical activity and poorer nutrition.

These findings indicate that the negative effects of COVID-19 are much broader and impact a wider range of older people than those who are hospitalized for COVID-19.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about how COVID-19 damages lungs, and aspirin could help prevent COVID-19 deaths.

For more information about COVID, please see recent studies about new COVID vaccine for people with weak immune systems, and results showing exposure to harmless coronaviruses can boost your COVID-19 immunity.

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