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Loss in Everyday Functioning Reported by Veterans During Pandemic

44.9 percent of veterans with COVID-19 infection, 35.3 percent without reported that they could do less than before pandemic

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 4, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Many veterans with and without documented COVID-19 infection reported a loss of everyday functioning during the pandemic, according to a study published online March 1 in JAMA Network Open.

Theodore J. Iwashyna, M.D., Ph.D., from the VA Center for Clinical Management Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and colleagues examined the impact of COVD-19 infection on everyday functioning 18 months after infection using data for 186 veterans with COVID-19 between October 2020 and April 2021 and 186 matched comparators who did not have documented COVID-19 infections. The differences in self-reported everyday functioning were estimated.

The researchers found that compared with the control cohort, a higher proportion of veterans in the COVID-19 cohort reported that they could do less than what they felt they could do at the beginning of 2020 (weighted percentage, 44.9 versus 35.3 percent; within-matched pair adjusted odds ratio, 1.52; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.79 to 2.91). No association was seen for documented COVID-19 infection with fatigue, substantial pain, limitations in activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living, severely curtailed life-space mobility, employment, or mean health-related quality of life on a utility scale.

“These results highlight the importance of acknowledging and addressing the broader impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health beyond those directly associated with documented infection,” the authors write.

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