Regenstrief Vice President for Data and Analytics Shaun Grannis, M.D., M.S., discusses the questions that will be investigated in the Institute’s new CDC-funded study on post-COVID conditions.
We’ve been focusing for the last couple of years on how to identify patients with COVID, how to prevent it, understanding what treatment methodologies were helpful in addressing the immediate case of COVID. But there are questions about how does COVID impact individuals over time. We don’t have any good data on that. Sometimes this condition is called long COVID. Sometimes we call it post-COVID conditions.
But it’s important to understand what type of effect this new virus has on individuals long term. And this virus has behaved in a way that’s still, I think, intriguing and perhaps sometimes confusing to individuals, in that the virus significantly impacted individuals with the older they were or the with more, the more co-morbidities they had. But in the younger populations, it was significantly less impactful.
In fact, it was safer to get COVID if you were a child than if you were to get influenza. So, the behaviors of this virus are still not fully understood, and I think we need to be able to track those patterns over time and understand, you know, increased risk of mental health, depression, those sorts of things, but also, is there an increase of cardiovascular disease, increased risk of diabetes?
What if you were diabetic, got COVID? How does your diabetes progress compared to somebody who may have been protected from COVID with a vaccine? So there are a lot of questions that we need to answer, and that’s why this program exists.