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1 in 8 adults with persistent COVID symptoms persist: study

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Michael Lee, CTVNews.ca Writer

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Toronto, Canada (CTV network) — A new Dutch study found that one in eight adults exposed to COVID-19 will develop long-term symptoms.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet, looked at a group of adults diagnosed with COVID-19 and a group of uninfected adults to see if they developed new or worsening symptoms of the disease. was examined.

The authors say their study found that about 1 in 8 or 12.7% of patients in the general population experienced long-term COVID-19 symptoms.

Judith Rosmalen, a professor of psychosomatic medicine at the University of Groningen and lead author of the study, said in a press release issued Thursday that including uninfected people in the study would help determine how prevalent COVID is in the general population. said that it would provide a more reliable estimate of how likely it is to exist for a period of time.

The Canadian government, citing the World Health Organization, says 10-20% of people will develop long-term COVID.

The main long-term symptoms of COVID investigated in the Dutch study include chest pain, difficulty breathing or soreness, muscle pain, loss of taste and smell, tingling in the hands and feet, lumps in the throat, heat and cold, heavy arms or Legs, and general fatigue were included.

“There is an urgent need for data that inform the magnitude and extent of long-term symptoms experienced by some patients following COVID-19 illness,” Rosmalen said in a release.

“However, most of the long-term COVID-19 studies to date have examined the frequency of these symptoms in people who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, or the symptoms in individual patients before they were diagnosed with COVID-19. It has not been done.”

Researchers first asked participants in the Lifelines COVID-19 Cohort Study to periodically complete a digital questionnaire on 23 symptoms commonly associated with COVID over time.

Lifelines is a multigenerational study involving over 167,000 participants from residents of the northern Netherlands.

The survey was sent to the same people 24 times between March 2020 and August 2021. Researchers say most of the data was collected before the COVID-19 vaccine was rolled out in the Netherlands.

Participants were considered COVID-positive if they had a positive test or doctor’s diagnosis.

The average age of participants was 53.7 years and 60.8% were female.

Of the 76,422 participants, 4,231 had COVID-19. This group was matched to 8,462 uninfected people by considering gender, age, and when the COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed in the positive group questionnaire.

In this study, 381 of 1,782 participants (21.4%) who were COVID-positive had persistent symptoms, compared to 361 of 4,130 (8.7%) who were uninfected who had symptoms. rice field.

Taken together, this means that in 12.7% of patients, these symptoms could be attributed to COVID-19, researchers say.

“The post-COVID-19 condition, aka the long COVID, is an urgent problem with increasing human costs,” said Aranka Ballering, PhD candidate and lead author of the study.

“Understanding the key symptoms and post-COVID-19 prevalence in the general population will be critical to our ability to design studies that can ultimately inform the success of healthcare responses to the long-term symptoms of COVID-19. It’s a big step forward.”

The authors say the study only included patients infected with previous COVID-19 variants and did not include Delta and Omicron.

The true prevalence of COVID-19 may also be underestimated because asymptomatic infections are not detected, researchers say.

The study did not look at other long-term COVID symptoms that were identified as potentially associated, such as brain fog, the researchers said.

The study only looked at the northern Netherlands, and the authors say the results may not be generalized to other regions.

Rosmalen said future research should consider not only mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety, but also symptoms not included in the study, such as brain fog, insomnia and post-exercise fatigue. It says there is

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