Background: While many studies on the determinants of post-COVID-19 conditions (PCC) have been conducted, little is known about the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 variants and PCC. This study aimed to assess the association between different SARS-CoV-2 variants and the probability of having PCC three months after the infection. Methods: This study was a longitudinal cohort study conducted between April 2021 and September 2022 in Belgium. In total, 8,238 adults with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were followed up between the time of their infection and three months later. The primary outcomes were the PCC status three months post infection and seven PCC symptoms categories (neurocognitive, autonomic, gastrointestinal, respiratory, musculoskeletal, anosmia and/or dysgeusia, and other manifestations). The main exposure variable was the type of SARS-CoV-2 variants (i.e. Alpha, Delta, and Omicron), extracted from national surveillance data. The association between the different SARS-CoV-2 variants and PCC as well as PCC symptoms categories was assessed using multivariable logistic regression. Results: The proportion of PCC among participants infected during the Alpha, Delta, and Omicron-dominant periods was significantly different and respectively 50%, 50%, and 37%. Participants infected during the Alpha- and Delta-dominant periods had a significantly higher odds of having PCC than those infected during the Omicron-dominant period (OR = 1.61, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.33–1.96 and OR = 1.73, 95%CI = 1.54–1.93, respectively). Participants infected during the Alpha and Delta-dominant periods were more likely to report neurocognitive, respiratory, and anosmia/dysgeusia symptoms of PCC. Conclusions: People infected during the Alpha- and Delta-dominant periods had a higher probability of having PCC three months after infection than those infected during the Omicron-dominant period. The lower probability of PCC with the Omicron variant must also be interpreted in absolute figures. Indeed, the number of infections with the Omicron variant being higher than with the Alpha and Delta variants, it is possible that the overall prevalence of PCC in the population increases, even if the probability of having a PCC decreases.
Subject(s)Dysgeusia , COVID-19
Background: Recent studies have identified important social inequalities in SARS-CoV-2 infection and related COVID-19 outcomes in the Belgian population. The aim of our study was to investigate the sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics associated with the uptake of COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the uptake of a first COVID-19 vaccine dose among 5,342,110 adults ([≥]18 years) in Belgium from December 28th 2020 (official starting date of the vaccination campaign) until August 31st 2021. We integrated data from four national data sources: the Belgian vaccine register (vaccination status), COVID-19 Healthdata (laboratory test results), DEMOBEL (sociodemographic/socioeconomic data), and the Common Base Registry for HealthCare Actors (individuals licensed to practice a healthcare profession in Belgium). We used multivariable logistic regression analysis for identifying characteristics associated with not having obtained a first COVID-19 vaccine dose in Belgium and for each of its three regions (Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia). Results: During the study period, 10% (536,716/5,342,110) of the Belgian adult population included in our study sample was not vaccinated with a first COVID-19 vaccine dose. A lower COVID-19 vaccine uptake was found among young individuals, men, migrants, single parents, one-person households, and disadvantaged socioeconomic groups (with lower levels of income and education, unemployed). Overall, the sociodemographic and socioeconomic disparities were comparable for all regions. Conclusions: The identification of sociodemographic and socioeconomic disparities in COVID-19 vaccination uptake is critical to develop strategies guaranteeing a more equitable vaccination coverage of the Belgian adult population.
Background: The spread of COVID-19 has affected people’s daily lives and the lockdown may have led to a disruption of daily activities and a decrease of people’s mental health. Aim: To identify correlates of adults’ mental health during the COVID-19 lockdown in Belgium and to assess the role of meaningful activities in particular. Methods: A cross-sectional web survey for assessing mental health (General Health Questionnaire), resilience (Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale), meaning in activities (Engagement in Meaningful Activities Survey) and demographics was conducted between April 24 and May 4, 2020. Hierarchical linear regression was used to identify key correlates. Results: Participants (N=1781) reported low mental health (M=14.85/36). In total, 42.4% of the variance in mental health could be explained by variables such as gender, having children, living space, marital status, health condition, and resilience (β= -.33). Loss of meaningful activities was strongly related to mental health (β= -.36) and explained 9% incremental variance (R2 change= .092, p<.001) above control variables.Conclusions: The extent of performing meaningful activities during the COVID-19 lockdown in Belgium is positively related to adults’ mental health. Insights from this study can be taken into account during future lockdown measures in case of pandemics.