Publication date: Sep 20, 2023
Whereas the nature of the post-COVID condition following mild acute COVID-19 is increasingly well described in the literature, knowledge of its risk factors, and whether it can be predicted, remains limited. This study, conducted in Norway, uses individual-level register data from 214,667 SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals covering a range of demographic, socioeconomic factors, as well as cause-specific healthcare utilization in the years prior to infection to assess the risk of post-COVID complaints ≥3 months after testing positive. We find that the risk of post-COVID was higher among individuals who prior to infection had been diagnosed with psychological (OR = 2. 12, 95% CI 1. 84-2. 44), respiratory (OR = 2. 03, 95% CI 1. 78-2. 32), or general and unspecified health problems (OR = 1. 78, 95% CI 1. 52-2. 09). To assess the predictability of post-COVID after mild initial disease, we use machine learning methods and find that pre-infection characteristics, combined with information on the SARS-CoV-2 virus type and vaccine status, to a considerable extent (AUC = 0. 79, 95% CI 0. 75-0. 81) could predict the occurrence of post-COVID complaints in our sample.
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