Boston-area hospitals recruiting long haulers to understand long-term effects


Six Boston-area health care sites are recruiting hundreds of COVID-19 long haulers for a study on the virus’ long-term symptoms and how to recover from them.

The six local sites — Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Tufts Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance and Massachusetts General Hospital — are seeking 909 participants over the next year for the Greater Boston COVID Recovery Cohort.

The area study is part of the National Institutes of Health “Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery” initiative, as researchers try to better understand long-term complications from COVID and develop treatments.

Tufts Medical Center’s principal investigator Dr. Michael Jordan called the study “very exciting” with long COVID clearly “an emerging public health problem.” There are more than 23 million long haulers across the country, including more than 450,000 in Massachusetts, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

About 10% to 30% of people who had COVID-19 reported at least one persistent symptom up to six months after the virus left their bodies.

“This unique and important study will play a critical role in helping us better understand long COVID and more effectively treat those suffering from its symptoms,” said Jordan, infectious disease physician at Tufts Medical Center, and director of the Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University COVID-19 Biorepository and Comprehensive Database.

“Minority and underserved populations shoulder much of the brunt of long COVID, so we look forward to engaging our local Chinatown community and disadvantaged communities throughout our Tufts Medicine network, to ensure they are included in this study and benefit from its findings,” he added.

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