(HealthDay News) — Similar to adults, children and adolescents who have previously had COVID-19 are at risk for post-COVID-19 syndrome, and the most common symptoms may differ by age group, according to a study published in PLOS Medicine.

Martin Roessler, from University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus in Dresden, Germany, and colleagues used routine data from German statutory health insurance organizations (Jan. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2020) to assess post-COVID-19-associated morbidity in children/adolescents and adults. The analysis included 11,950 children/adolescents and 145,184 adults, and COVID-19 cases were matched (1:5) to control individuals.

Compared with the control cohort, the COVID-19 cohort had significantly higher incidence rates for all 13 diagnosis/symptom complexes analyzed in adults and for 10 diagnosis/symptom complexes in children/adolescents.

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In children and adolescents, the outcomes with the highest incidence rates were malaise/fatigue/exhaustion (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 2.28), cough (IRR, 1.74), and throat/chest pain (IRR, 1.72).

For adults, the symptoms with the highest incidence rates were disturbances of smell and taste (IRR, 6.69), fever (IRR, 3.33), and dyspnea (IRR, 2.88).

For all health outcomes combined, incidence rates in the COVID-19 cohort were significantly higher than in the control cohort for both children/adolescents (IRR, 1.30) and adults (IRR, 1.33).

“The results of the present study indicate that post-COVID-19 syndrome cannot be dismissed among children and adolescents,” the authors wrote. “We found that COVID-19 diagnosis was associated with higher long-term demand for health care services as reflected in outpatient and inpatient diagnoses of a broad set of outcomes more than three months after confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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