Prolonged COVID symptoms persist in up to 1 in 8 adult patients: study

A new Dutch study has found that one in eight adults exposed to COVID-19 will develop long-term symptoms.

The study, published in a peer-reviewed journal the lancetlooked at groups of adults diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as those who were not infected, and examined whether they developed new or worsening symptoms of the disease.

The authors say their study found that about one in eight, or 12.7 percent, of patients in the general population experienced long-term COVID-19 symptoms.

Judith Rosmalen, 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 research provides a more reliable estimate of the likelihood that COVID will last in the general population.

The Canadian government, citing the World Health Organization, says that between 10 and 20 percent of people develop prolonged COVID.

The main symptoms of prolonged COVID examined for the Dutch study included chest pain, shortness of breath or pain, muscle pain, loss of taste and smell, tingling in extremities, lump in throat, feeling hot and cold, arms or heavy legs and general tiredness. .

“There is an urgent need for data that informs the scale and extent of long-term symptoms experienced by some patients after COVID-19 illness,” Rosmalen said in the statement.

“However, most previous research on prolonged COVID has not looked at the frequency of these symptoms in people who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 or looked at individual patient symptoms prior to COVID-19 diagnosis.”

The researchers began by asking participants in the Lifelines COVID-19 cohort study to regularly complete digital questionnaires about 23 symptoms commonly associated with prolonged COVID.

life lines is a multigenerational study involving more than 167,000 participants from the population of the northern Netherlands.

The questionnaires were sent 24 times to the same people between March 2020 and August 2021. The researchers say that most of the data was collected before COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out in the Netherlands.

Participants were considered positive for COVID if they had a positive test or medical diagnosis.

The average age of the participants was 53.7 years, while 60.8 percent were women.

Of the 76,422 participants, 4,231 had COVID-19. This group was then matched with 8,462 uninfected people, taking into account gender, age, and when a COVID-19 diagnosis was confirmed on a questionnaire in the positive group.

The study found that 381 of 1,782 COVID-positive participants (21.4 percent) had persistent symptoms, compared with 361 of 4,130 uninfected people (8.7 percent).

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

“Post-COVID-19 condition, also known as prolonged COVID, is an urgent problem with a growing number of human victims,” ​​said PhD candidate and study first author Aranka Ballering.

“Understanding the core symptoms and prevalence of post-COVID-19 in the general population represents a major step forward in our ability to design studies that can ultimately inform successful healthcare responses to long-term symptoms of COVID-19.” the COVID-19″.

The authors say the study only involved patients infected with earlier variants of COVID-19, not including Delta and Omicron.

The true prevalence of COVID-19 may also be underestimated because asymptomatic infections go undetected, the researchers said.

The study did not look at other prolonged COVID symptoms that have since been identified as potentially relevant, such as brain fog, the researchers said.

As the study only looked at the north of the Netherlands, the authors say the results may not generalize to other areas.

Rosmalen says that future research should also consider mental health symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, as well as those not included in the study, such as brain fog, insomnia, and general malaise after exertion.

Leave a Comment