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Post-COVID-19 symptoms may occur in 1 in 8 people infected with SARS-CoV-2




In a recent study published in lancetresearchers analyzed the nature, incidence and severity of persistent symptoms associated with the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among people in the Netherlands.

The researchers compared the symptom dynamics of a control group who did not develop COVID-19 given the same symptoms prior to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Study: Persistence of physical symptoms after COVID-19 in the Netherlands: an observational cohort study. Image Credit: Starocean/Shutterstock
study: Persistence of physical symptoms after COVID-19 in the Netherlands: an observational cohort studyImage Credit: Starocean/Shutterstock


Previous studies assessing post-COVID-19 prevalence and symptoms either did not include a control group or adjusted for the occurrence of somatic symptoms in the COVID-19-free population. Furthermore, these studies were unable to assess whether physical symptoms reported after COVID-19 diagnosis were present prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, as these are clinical studies, his post-COVID-19 status in the general population was ignored.

As the prolonged COVID could become the next public health catastrophe, there is an urgent need for empirical data demonstrating the magnitude of the long-term impact of COVID-19 and developing appropriate medical responses. helps.

research design

In this study, researchers used data from Lifeline. This is an observational population-level cohort study using all her COVID-19-related information of people living in the north of the Netherlands. They matched subjects to controls 1:2 by gender, age, and time they completed a questionnaire indicating their diagnosis of COVID-19 to assess the severity of pre- and post-COVID-19 symptoms. .

Researchers asked all Lifelines adult participants to complete a digital COVID-19 questionnaire. Initially, responses were collected weekly, and since June 2020 he has been collecting responses every two weeks, which has since become monthly.

The team used the collected data to conduct a longitudinal study of 23 physical symptoms of COVID-19 cases diagnosed using 24 consecutive measurements from 31 March 2020 to 2 August 2021. We measured directional dynamics. One of them indicated that participants were barely bothered by their respective symptoms, and five indicated extreme discomfort. Only if the symptom scored 3 (moderate score) was it considered persistently present by the researchers. In this way, the researchers calculated her pre-COVID-19 mean score per symptom for each participant.

Researchers presented population characteristics as absolute numbers or mean values ​​with standard deviations (SD) as appropriate. In addition, QQ plots and histograms were used to examine the normality of study data. Finally, researchers presented a moving average symptom report for each COVID-19-positive participant further stratified by gender and symptoms.

Survey results

Response rates to the digital COVID-19 survey varied between 28% and 49% during the study period. In total, his 76,422 study participants, with a mean age of 53.7 years, completed 883,973 questionnaires. More than 60% of her of these participants were female. Of these, the author matched her 4231 her COVID-19 diagnosed cases with her 8462 controls.

Between 90 and 150 days after being diagnosed with COVID-19, these individuals reported chest pain, breathing pain, breathing problems, muscle pain, loss of smell, lump in the throat, hot and cold sensations (alternating). , tingling in the extremities, and heavy arms. Or legs, and fatigue. Interestingly, these symptoms can be attributed to her COVID-19 in only 12.7% of her patients. time of coincidence.

It is worth noting that only 39% of experts considered tingling in the extremities to be an important symptom post-COVID-19, while 56% considered headache to be important in case definition. However, the current analysis showed that while tingling in the extremities was the central symptom, the headache was unrelated to her COVID-19. These differences highlighted the need for longitudinal cohort studies in the general population using pre-infection data and controls to define the magnitude and extent of the post-COVID-19 condition.


Overall, the findings areCOVID-19 symptoms It can occur in 1 in 8 SARS-CoV-2 infected people in the general population. According to the authors, this is the first study to document and characterize the prevalence and severity of symptoms in her COVID-19 patients at the population level. They were robustly corrected for each symptom present prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the symptom dynamics reported by uninfected sex- and age-matched controls during the same time period.

In addition, this study examined changes in these long-term COVID conditions due to public health measures taken during the pandemic and seasonality. Most importantly, this study highlighted that the most common symptoms are not the most characteristic symptoms of the post-COVID-19 condition. The nature needs further investigation to inform the health care response to COVID over the long term.




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