This does not look good. The healthcare effects could last for years.
People over 60 who survive COVID-19 have higher risks of dementia, mild cognitive impairment, and cognitive decline—particularly if they had severe COVID-19—according to a study out this week in JAMA Neurology.
The study followed over 1,400 older COVID survivors in Wuhan, China, who were among some of the first people in the world to be hospitalized for COVID-19. The patients were discharged between February 10 and April 10, 2020, from three COVID-19–designated hospitals in Wuhan. Researchers followed their neurological health for a full year afterward.
For people over 60, even even non-severe cases of COVID could have a huge impact:
Risk modeling that adjusted for complicating demographic factors estimated that survivors of non-severe COVID were 71 percent more likely to have early-onset decline than uninfected controls.
These are all cases in unvaccinated people but the percentages indicate the overall numbers could be huge. And because of the way the study was done, it could well underestimate the levels of dementia.