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More than half of COVID-19 survivors experience symptoms 6 months after recovery

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October 14, 2021

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Disclosure: Chinchilli and Ssentongo have not reported disclosure of relevant financial information. See the survey for a list of relevant financial disclosures for all other authors.


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More than half of COVID-19 survivors experience symptoms consistent with long COVID up to 6 months after recovery. JAMA network open Indicated.

Long COVID The CDC defines “new, recurrent, or ongoing health problems” that occur more than 4 weeks after the initial infection with SARS-CoV-2.Linked Over 200 symptoms..

Source: Adobe Stock.
Source: Adobe Stock.

Researchers at the Pennsylvania State Medical College and two Australian universities searched PubMed, Scopus, the WHO Global Literature on Coronavirus Disease, and the CoronaCentral Database for studies published between December 2019 and March 2021. bottom.

They identified 2,100 studies, including 57 studies of 250,351 survivors of COVID-19 who met the study selection criteria. The average age of survivors was 54.4 years, 140,196 (56%) were male and 197,777 (79%) were hospitalized for acute COVID-19.

Researchers categorized symptoms into short-term (1 month after diagnosis or discharge of COVID-19), medium-term (2-5 months), and long-term (6 months).

One month later, 54% experienced at least one long COVID symptom (interquartile range) [IQR], 45% -69%), and that rate remained the same for the next few months. Between 2 and 5 months, 55% experienced at least one symptom (IQR, 34.8% to 65.5%). At 6 months, 54% were still experiencing at least one symptom (IQR, 31% -67%).

“These findings support what many healthcare professionals and COVID-19 survivors claim, which means that COVID-19 can have a protracted adverse health effect.” Dr. Vernon Chinchiri, Co-Chief Research Investigator at Pennsylvania State Medical College and Chairman of the School of Public Health Sciences, said in a news release.

The researchers evaluated 38 clinical symptoms in three categories: organ system (nervous system, respiratory system, digestive system, etc.), constitutional symptoms, and functional mobility.

The most common neurocognitive symptom was poor concentration (median IQR, 23.8%) [20.4%-25.9%]), Memory impairment (median IQR, 18.6%) [17.3%-22.9%]) And cognitive impairment (median IQR, 17.1%) [14.1%-30.5%]).

The most common mental health disorder was anxiety (median IQR, 29.6%) [14%-44%]), Sleep disorders (median IQR, 27%) [19.2%-30.3%]), Depression (median IQR, 20.4%) [19.2%-21.5%]), And post-traumatic stress (median IQR, 13.3%) [7.3%-25.1%]).

“The burden of deteriorating the health of COVID-19 survivors is overwhelming.” Paddy field Sentongo, MDAn assistant professor at the Pennsylvania State Center for Neural Engineering said in a news release. “Some of these are mental health problems. The fight against COVID does not end with recovery from an acute infection.”

Other commonly reported symptoms included joint pain (median IQR, 10%). [6.1%-19%]), Malaise or weakness (median IQR, 37.5%) [25.4%-54.5%]), And flu-like symptoms (median IQR, 10.3%) [4.5%-19.2%]).

“Our study was not designed to confirm that COVID-19 is the only cause of these symptoms. The symptoms reported by patients in some of the studies investigated are others. It is plausible that it was due to several causes. “

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