*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
Young people appear to have normal lung function after recovering from COVID-19, new studies find.
In one, Swedish researchers found that even asthma patients had no significant impairment in lung function.
In the other, German researchers found unimpaired lung function after kids and teens had a COVID-19 infection — unless their infection was severe.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions about if and how the lung is affected after clearance of the coronavirus infection, especially in young people from the general population with less severe disease. Until now, this has not been known,” said Dr. Ida Mogensen, a post-doctoral fellow at the Karolinska Institute, who led the Swedish study.
Her team collected data on 661 young people. Of those, 27% had antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, indicating they had been infected. Lung function was measured in all participants.
“Our analysis showed similar lung function irrespective of COVID-19 history,” Mogensen said. “When we included 123 participants with asthma in the analysis, the 24% who had had COVID-19 tended towards having a slightly lower lung function, but this was not statistically significant.”
The German study looked at the long-term effects of COVID-19 in 73 children and teens between August 2020 and March 2021.
Researchers performed lung function tests between two weeks and six months after COVID-19 infection and compared the results with those of 45 kids who had not been infected.
“We found no statistically significant differences in the frequency of abnormal lung function,” said study leader Dr. Anne Schlegtendal in a news release from the European Respiratory Society. “They occurred in 16% of the COVID-19 group and 28% of the control group.”
“These findings should offer some reassurance to children, adolescents, and their families,” she said. “Severity of infection proved to be the only predictor for mild lung function changes and this is independent of a COVID-19 infection.”