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Six hospitals in the Boston area participate in a national “long COVID” study

Six hospitals in the Boston area participate in a national “long COVID” study


A consortium of six hospitals and medical systems in the Boston region announced on Monday a new multi-year study of long-term COVID-19 symptoms. This study seeks to elucidate the various debilitating symptoms faced by “long-distance transporters,” that is, COVID patients who do not fully recover from infection.

The three-year study, called the Greater Boston COVID Recovery Cohort, begins this year and, with approximately 1,000 participants enrolled, is the principal investigator of the study and head of the lung and critical care department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Bruce Levy said. ..

According to Levy, researchers are working to prevent and treat long COVIDs with mild to incapacitating symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, “brain fog”, sleep disorders, fever, gastrointestinal symptoms, and anxiety. I also hope to start finding the best way to do it. depression.

The number of people at risk for the syndrome is still unknown, but it is estimated that up to 30-40% of infected people are at risk of developing long COVIDs, Levy said.

“The smaller the number, the better the 5% range,” says Levy. “I don’t know exactly where it is. However, there are about 80 million COVID infections in the United States, and even if only 1% of those patients are infected with long COVIDs, it is still a very large number. “

In addition to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Regional Studies includes researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Medical Center, Cambridge Health Alliance, Tufts Medical Center, and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Local research is part of a national initiative announced by the National Institutes of Health last month, including 15 collaborative studies like Boston, supported by $ 1.15 billion in research funding from Congress nationwide. Register about 20,000 adults and 20,000 children at.

The Boston consortium will focus on health equity in their research, using planned collaborations and inputs from blacks and other communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

Janice John, a primary care clinician and research investigator at the Cambridge Health Alliance, said that many of CHA’s 130,000 patients come from marginalized communities and are also affected by long-term COVIDs.

“Help is coming and a lot of energy is being put into understanding what can help people get better,” John said. “I just saw the patient after the patient relaxed in the room because someone believed them and told them.” We don’t understand that, but this is true. And your suffering is true, and I will now walk with you. “

Maria Novicki from Lebanon, Maine is participating in a Boston area survey. She lost her job due to the health effects of her long COVID. This included a permanent loss of her taste and smell, as well as cognitive and neuropathy.

“I remember what I experienced in the first place. I couldn’t find any help. People didn’t believe me. Doctors were pushing me,” said Noviki. “So I’m doing this, it’s not helping myself, because I know the fights I’ve experienced … it’s helping me help others.”

Novicki said she and others with a long COVID hope that the Boston study will help answer some of the many questions surrounding the syndrome.

“Because who knows how long [the pandemic] Will it continue? “She said. “They say it’s declining, but it may come back soon. This is another thing many long-haul carriers are afraid of. The virus again tells us. We are afraid to get sick again because we don’t know what we can do. “




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