One in eight COVID-19 patients develop long-COVID symptoms - study

Published date05 August 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Groningen and the Radboud University Medical Center and published in the peer-reviewed general medical journal The Lancet early Friday morning, asked COVID-19 patients to regularly fill out digital questionnaires on 23 symptoms commonly associated with long COVID

21.4% of respondents experienced at least one new or severely increased medical issue three to five months post-COVID-19 infection compared to before infection. Some of the medical issues reported by participants included symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, pain when breathing, sore muscles, loss of taste or smell, heavy limbs and general fatigue.

"Long COVID is an urgent problem with a mounting human toll"

Aranka Ballering, first author

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In comparison, the responses submitted by the COVID-19 negative control group indicated that only 8.7% of people who had not contracted the virus experienced a new or increased medical issue in the same time period. Thus, researchers were able to reasonably conclude that roughly one in eight COVID-19 patients in the general population experienced long-term symptoms due to COVID-19.

What long-term symptoms were most commonly reported?

Among the 1,782 COVID-19-positive patients who participated in the research, the most commonly reported long COVID symptom was loss of taste or smell, with 135 people reporting that they experienced a substantial increase in symptom severity.

The second-most reported medical issue increasing in severity was muscle pain (130 people), and in third place was general fatigue (88 people).

Restricting the definition of long COVID to core symptoms showed that 21.4% (381) of the 1,782 COVID-positive participants had at least one symptom increase substantially to at least moderate severity 90-150 days after the initial infection. In comparison, only 8.7% (361 people) of the 4,130 COVID-negative control group participants had experienced any medical symptom increase in severity during the same length of time.

This finding indicates that in 12 7% of patients (or 1/8 people) with COVID-19, the increased core symptoms with moderate severity at 3 months after COVID-19 could be attributed to SARS-CoV-2 infection and thus long...

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