Associations between reported post-COVID-19 symptoms and subjective well-being, Israel, July 2021 - April 2022

Epidemiol Infect. 2023 Jan 4:151:e16. doi: 10.1017/S0950268822001996.


The impact of individual symptoms reported post-COVID-19 on subjective well-being (SWB) is unknown. We described associations between SWB and selected reported symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection. We analysed reported symptoms and subjective well being from 2295 participants (of which 576 reporting previous infection) in an ongoing longitudinal cohort study taking place in Israel. We estimated changes in SWB associated with reported selected symptoms at three follow-up time points (3-6, 6-12 and 12-18 months post infection) among participants reporting previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, adjusted for key demographic variables, using linear regression. Our results suggest that the biggest and most sustained changes in SWB stems from non-specific symptoms (fatigue -7.7 percentage points (pp), confusion/ lack of concentration -10.7 pp, and sleep disorders -11.5pp, P < 0.005), whereas the effect of system-specific symptoms, such as musculoskeletal symptoms (weakness in muscles and muscle pain) on SWB, are less profound and more transient. Taking a similar approach for other symptoms and following individuals over time to describe trends in SWB changes attributable to specific symptoms will help understand the post-acute phase of COVID-19 and how it should be defined and better managed. Post-acute COVID19 symptoms were associated with a significant decrease in subjective well being up to 18 months after initial infection.

Keywords: COVID-19; epidemiology; public health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2