Even after six months, symptoms in some people infected with Covid included chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and loss of smell.Photo / Getty Images
The long-term biochemical effects of Covid-19 have been found in more than half of people infected with the virus, even in mild cases.
A small study of people with mild cases of Covid-19 in Australia found “blood biochemical abnormalities,” with more than half experiencing symptoms 6 months after infection.
Scientists working at Murdoch University’s National Phenome Center (ANPC) in Perth, Western Australia, investigated the blood chemistry of 27 patients with mild illness.
“We found that the majority of unhospitalized Covid-19 patients did not return to normal health or biochemistry after 3 months and until 6 months after the acute phase. One or more symptoms persist in 57% of patients, said ANPC director Professor Jeremy Nicholson.
Symptoms include chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and loss of smell.
Importantly, many patients also had metabolic disorders that researchers believed could change the risk of other illnesses such as heart disease.
“This is a major public health concern and requires further investigation at the national and international levels,” said Professor Nicholson.
Early results from another study showed that about two in three Australians had ongoing health problems after becoming severely ill with Covid-19.
Professor Nicholson said more than 160 million people worldwide suffer from a less serious form of Covid-19.
“We are following up to assess recovery, and what we find is a source of concern,” he said.
“This is a very dangerous illness that not only sacrifices life today, but as we are discovering now, even relatively mild original cases will continue to affect some patients in the future. It can have serious health consequences. “
However, Nicholson said some biochemical patterns associated with the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis appear to have returned to normal in some patients. “So that’s not all bad news,” he said.
The professor said that the latest research provides a framework for identifying people suffering from long-term effects and what their effects are, and individual long-term treatments they may need. Said to help develop.
“We have developed an objective metabolic framework for measuring systemic recovery in Covid-19 patients, which can be used to clearly track whether people are actually fully recovering from their illness.” He said.
Further research with more people is needed to identify the biomarkers needed for long-term monitoring.
It is unclear whether “long covid,” also known as post-acute Covid-19 syndrome (PACS), is an extension of the disease or indicates the onset of another chronic disease caused by an enhanced immune response of the body to the virus.
“Currently, there are more than 140 million so-called” recovered “people around the world, which significantly increases the health economic burden and has long-term consequences for tens of millions of individuals with individual medical problems. May be seen. “Professor Nicholson said.
The results of a collaborative study with the Covid Research Response Trial, led by the University of Western Australia, ANPC, Spinnaker Health Research Foundation, and South Metropolitan Health Service, have been published in a peer-reviewed paper in the Journal of Proteome Research. (American Chemical Society).
Professor BuYeap, an endocrinologist at the University of Western Australia, said the study marked an important milestone in providing better care to affected people.
“The results show that patients after acute Covid-19 infection have persistent metabolic and inflammatory changes associated with some Long Covid symptoms,” said Professor Yeap.
“This is an important step in better understanding the long-term health effects of Covid-19 and helps to provide better care to those affected.”
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