Long Covid / Exercise Intolerance?

Article in the Washington Post says long Covid may make aerobic exercise more difficult. I am unsure if this is true. Long Covid, according to this article, affects one in twenty people causing a bizarre constellation of symptoms.

Wonder how they came up with the decade amount? What does this even mean?

I expect it’s a headline writers twist on this from the WaPo article:

But those with long covid had the stamina of someone 10 years older. Forty-year-olds would jog or cycle like “someone in their fifties,” Durstenfeld said.

It’s a meta study of a number of studies with varying methodologies and weaknesses, and the total n isn’t all that impressive, but that chronic aftereffects of a disease that strikes at the respiratory system influence the ability to do aerobic exercise doesn’t seem at all far fetched. What is it in this article, or better, in the open access meta study it links to, that makes you so uncertain?

You overestimate my uncertainty. Covid can cause lung scarring, pneumonia, atelectasis and severe Covid can cause respiratory distress, diffuse alveolar damage and obliterating bronchopneumonia in intubated patients who end up in the ICU. But this is not most patients who get Covid.

I more meant I have not read the studies in detail, treat meta-analyses with slight skepticism, and think the reported age difference fairly imprecise. I do not doubt Covid can damage lungs with significant effect.

Ah! I read it is “I’m unsure this is true, which is why I’m posting”, rather than “This is interesting, but as always with such early work it’s uncertain if it holds up.” My apologies.