Clinicians may overlook long COVID-19 symptoms in older adults

Because fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, memory problems and other symptoms of long COVID-19 are also common in aging, clinicians are finding it difficult to recognize the condition in their older patients. A study of Medicare recipients, recently published in BMJ, estimated that 32% of U.S. older adults who survived COVID-19 had lingering symptoms for at least four months, which was more than double the rate previously estimated for adults under age 65. “The challenge is that nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, pain, confusion, and increased frailty are things we often see in seriously ill older adults. Or people may think, ‘That’s just part of aging,’” one physician told Kaiser Health News. (Kaiser Health News article, 5/18/22)