COVID-19 and Long COVID EUROCAM's position in prevention and management of COVID- 19 including Long COVID, July 2022

This document reflects the position of EUROCAM in prevention and management of COVID- 19 including Long COVID. It covers susceptibility and resilience to COVID-19, preventive measures, individualized patient-centred treatment by Traditional Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCIM) and research into its evidence base.

Susceptibility to COVID-19

In every epidemic some individuals become ill, and some may die, whereas others recover from illness and still others show no signs or symptoms of disease. These differences highlight a fundamental question of microbial pathogenesis: why are some individuals susceptible to infectious diseases while others who acquire the same microbe remain well?

The concept of susceptibility explains why the global pandemic of COVID-19 disease has had a disproportionate impact on patients living with chronic medical illness. Patients with underlying medical conditions are more likely to be hospitalised, need intensive care, require a ventilator to help them breathe, or die. Underlying conditions can be all kinds of chronic disease, use of alcohol or drugs, smoking, pregnancy, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, mental health conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder, immunocompromised conditions.

In the first large-scale general population study on lifestyle risk factors (smoking, physical inactivity, obesity, and excessive alcohol intake) for COVID-19 using prospective cohort data with national registry linkage to hospitalisation1, the research team found a dose-dependent increase in risk of COVID-19 with less favourable lifestyle scores, such that participants in the most adverse category had 4-fold higher risk compared to people with the most optimal lifestyle. Unhealthy behaviours in combination accounted for up to 51% of the population attributable fraction of severe COVID-19. An unhealthy lifestyle synonymous with an elevated risk of non-communicable disease is also a risk factor for COVID-19 hospital admission. The research team argued that adopting simple lifestyle changes could lower the risk of severe infection.

Prevention and management of COVID-19 including Long COVID position paper

Read more in our Prevention and management of COVIC-19 and Long-COVID position paper.