Fatigue and sleep problems were the most recurrent among the patients.
Most of the patients who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 still suffered from a variety of symptoms, including fatigue and difficulty sleeping, six months after infection, a Chinese study found.
The study of more than 1,700 patients treated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic, shows that 76% suffered at least one symptom months after being discharged from the hospital.
The study, the largest of its kind conducted so far, was published Friday in the medical journal The Lancet.
It found that fatigue and sleep difficulties were the most common post-COVID-19 symptoms, occurring in 63% and 26% of patients, respectively, six months after the start of their initial diagnosis.
The disease could also have long-lasting psychological complications, with anxiety or depression in 23% of patients, the study found.
Patients who were more severely ill tended to show continued evidence of lung damage on X-rays, according to the researchers.
“Because COVID-19 is such a new disease, we are just beginning to understand some of its long-term effects on patients’ health,” Dr. Bin Cao of the Chinese Friendship Hospital said in a statement. -Japan and Capital Medical University, who led the study team.
‘Our analysis indicates that the majority of patients continue to live with at least some of the effects of the virus after leaving the hospital, highlighting the need for post-discharge care, particularly for those experiencing severe infections. Our work also underscores the importance of conducting longer follow-up studies in larger populations to understand the full spectrum of the effects that COVID-19 can have on people, ”the statement said.
Long-term health effects of covid-19
Scientists around the world are studying the long-lasting effects of the virus, commonly known as “prolonged Covid” symptoms.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, and chest pain as symptoms. long-term most commonly reported.
Others, such as difficulty thinking and concentrating, known as “brain fog,” depression and headaches, are also reported among those who have long had the coronavirus.
“While most people with COVID-19 recover and return to normal health, some patients may have symptoms that can last for weeks or even months after recovering from an acute illness. Even people who are not hospitalized and have a mild illness can experience persistent symptoms or late symptoms, “said the CDC.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in August found that around 10% of patients had a prolonged illness from COVID-19 lasting more than 12 weeks.
But the Chinese study is the largest, with the longest duration of follow-up, to investigate the long-term impact on discharged patients, according to its authors.
All patients in the study, with an average age of 57 years, were discharged between January 7 and May 29, 2020 from Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, a facility specially designated to treat Covid-19, which cared for the first people in the world to contract the disease since December 2019.
In total, the study included 70% of all COVID-19 patients discharged in that period, after excluding those who died, those who were unable to participate due to serious mental or physical conditions, and those who refused to participate. take part.
All participants were interviewed with a series of questionnaires for the evaluation of symptoms.
They also underwent physical exams, a six-minute walk test and blood tests, according to the study.
Unexpectedly, 13% of patients who did not appear to have acute kidney injury while hospitalized showed signs of kidney dysfunction.
However, a team of researchers from the Institute for Pharmacological Research in Bergamo, Italy, who were not involved in the study, wrote in an accompanying comment in The Lancet that the findings “should be interpreted with caution,” as there are limits to how that were measured.
With the Sars it was like this
Nonetheless, the findings on fatigue, trouble sleeping, and anxiety or depression dovetail with previous research on patients who had a related coronavirus that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) in 2003 and 2004, according to Chinese researchers.
A follow-up study of Sars survivors showed that 40% of patients had symptoms of chronic fatigue more than three years after infection, the researchers said.
Another study showed that 38% of Sars survivors had evidence of lung damage 15 years later, researchers from the Institute for Pharmacology Research noted in their comment.
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