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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Nov 2022 - 2 Dec 2022

Human Studies

2022 Nov 30

Nat Commun



Post-covid medical complaints following infection with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron vs Delta variants.


Magnusson K, Kristoffersen D T, Dell'Isola A, Kiadaliri A, Turkiewicz A, Runhaar J, Bierma-Zeinstra S, Englund M, Magnus P M, Kinge J M
Nat Commun. 2022 Nov 30; 13(1):7363.
PMID: 36450749.


The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has been associated with less severe acute disease, however, concerns remain as to whether long-term complaints persist to a similar extent as for earlier variants. Studying 1 323 145 persons aged 18-70 years living in Norway with and without SARS-CoV-2 infection in a prospective cohort study, we found that individuals infected with Omicron had a similar risk of post-covid complaints (fatigue, cough, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and anxiety/depression) as individuals infected with Delta (B.1.617.2), from 14 to up to 126 days after testing positive, both in the acute (14 to 29 days), sub-acute (30 to 89 days) and chronic post-covid (≥90 days) phases. However, at ≥90 days after testing positive, individuals infected with Omicron had a lower risk of having any complaint (43 (95%CI = 14 to 72) fewer per 10,000), as well as a lower risk of musculoskeletal pain (23 (95%CI = 2-43) fewer per 10,000) than individuals infected with Delta. Our findings suggest that the acute and sub-acute burden of post-covid complaints on health services is similar for Omicron and Delta. The chronic burden may be lower for Omicron vs Delta when considering musculoskeletal pain, but not when considering other typical post-covid complaints.