Long-term health sequels of COVID-19 infections and mitigation responses in Nordic populations

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on global population health. To fully understand the long-term impact of the pandemic and the associated governmental mitigating responses, we need vigorous population-based studies of potential long-term health consequences. The variation in governmental mitigation responses to COVID-19 and the associated pandemic burden across the Nordic region along with the unique data sources offer unique opportunities to gain critical insight into major long-term health consequences of COVID-19 beyond the pandemic.

The COVIDMENT consortium leverages an extensive research experience and infrastructure from an ongoing collaboration between four Nordic countries and other international partners, including national registry resources (est. >22 million individuals; of which >7.2 million have confirmed COVID-19 infection) and new COVID-19 cohorts with questionnaire data (ca. 376.500 individuals). The specific aims of the COVIDMENT program are: 1) to elucidate prevalence and risk factors of long COVID symptomology and new onset mental and cardiometabolic diseases among COVID-19 patients and individuals who lost a family member to COVID-19, and 2) to determine the role of COVID-19 burden (incidence and mortality) and respective Nordic governmental responses in long-term population mental health and associated sick-leave or disability pension.

This program addresses key issues in long-term health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, namely among those directly affected as well as those indirectly affected through governmental enforced mitigation strategies. The prevailing debate in the Nordic responses to the pandemic has indeed evolved around the extent to which we should protect the population from getting infected versus the potential population health cost inflicted by these measures. This program will contribute solid evidence to promote societal security in the Nordic countries by shedding light on post-COVID-19 health effects of patients, bereaved families and the general public. Such knowledge is fundamental for organizing targeted rehabilitation strategies after the pandemic but also for developing future policies in pandemic responses in the Nordic region and beyond.