February 16, 2023

Association of long COVID symptoms with employment status

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, finds that individuals with post-COVID-19 condition (PCC), also known as long COVID, are less likely to be working and working full time. 

Of 15,308 survey respondents with test-confirmed COVID-19 at least 2 months prior: 

  • 2,236 (14.6%) reported PCC symptoms, including 1,027 (45.9%) with either brain fog or impaired memory 
  • 1,418 (9.3%) reported being unemployed, including 276 (12.3%) with PCC and 1,142 (8.7%) without PCC 
  • 8,229 (53.8%) reported working full-time, including 1,017 (45.5%) with PCC and 7,212 (55.2%) without PCC. 

After adjusting for retired respondents, the presence of PCC was associated with a lower likelihood of working full time and with a higher likelihood of being unemployed. In addition, the presence of any cognitive symptom was associated with lower likelihood of working full time.  

The researchers concluded that the findings underscore the importance of developing strategies to treat and manage PCC symptoms. 

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