Those in most deprived areas at 46% more risk of long Covid: studytext_fields
London: A study revealed that long Covid is mainly associated with area-level deprivation. It stated that the risk of long Covid is 46 per cent higher for people from most deprived areas compared to those in the least deprived areas, IANS reported.
The study subjected over 2,00,000 working-age adults and is the first to quantify the association between long Covid and socioeconomic status across a range of occupation sectors. Its inference was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Further, the study found that females are at more risk of long Covid than males in most deprived areas. Along with those from the most deprived areas, people working in the healthcare and education sectors are at more risk for long Covid.
"Although certain occupational groups, especially frontline and essential workers, have been unequally affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, studies on long Covid and occupation are sparse," said lead researcher Dr Nazrul Islam of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton.
"Our findings are consistent with pre-pandemic research on other health conditions, suggesting that workers with lower socioeconomic status have poorer health outcomes and higher premature mortality than those with higher socioeconomic position but a similar occupation. However, the socioeconomic inequality may vary considerably by occupation groups," added Dr Islam, who is also part of the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford.
The study suggests the need for a diverse range of public health interventions after recovery from Covid-19 across multiple intersecting social dimensions. Health policies must incorporate the multiple dimensions of inequality, such as sex, deprivation and occupation when considering the treatment and management of long Covid, the researchers opined.
"The inequalities shown in this study show that such an approach can provide more precise identification of risks and be relevant to other diseases and beyond the pandemic," Dr Islam said.
"These findings will help inform health policy in identifying the most vulnerable sub-groups of populations so that more focused efforts are given, and proportional allocation of resources are implemented, to facilitate the reduction of health inequalities," he added.