Half of hospitalized Covid patients have at least one persistent symptom after two years: study
According to the study published in the British medical journal The Lancet, patients who have recovered from Covid-19 tend to be in “poor health” even two years after the initial infection compared to the general population, indicating that some patients need more time to fully recover.
The study was carried out on 1,192 participants hospitalized with Covid-19 in Wuhan, China, between January 7 and May 29, 2020, during the first phase of the pandemic.
They were followed up at six months, 12 months and two years after discharge.
The researchers found that around half of the participants had symptoms of long Covid – including fatigue and trouble sleeping – at two years of age. They also experienced lower quality of life and ability to exercise, faced more mental health issues, and there was increased use of health services compared to those without mental health issues. symptoms of long covid.
The median age of participants at discharge was 57 years and 54% (n=641) were male.
Six months after initially falling ill, 68% (777/1,149) of study participants reported at least one long symptom of Covid.
They found that two years after infection, symptom reporting had dropped to 55% (650/1,190). Common symptoms like fatigue or muscle weakness fell from 52% (593/1151) at six months to 30% (357/1190) at two years.
Lead author Professor Bin Cao, from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China, said: “Our results indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalized survivors of Covid-19, although they have been able to clear the initial infection, it takes more than two years to fully recover from Covid-19. Continued follow-up of Covid-19 survivors, especially those with long COVID symptoms, is essential to understand the longer course of the disease, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programs for recovery. There is a clear need to provide ongoing support to a significant proportion of people who have had COVID-19 and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments and variants affect long-term health outcomes.
The study found that 31% (351/1127) of patients reported muscle fatigue or weakness and 31% (354/1127) reported sleep disturbance. In contrast, the proportion of non-Covid-19 participants reporting these symptoms was 5% (55/1,127) and 14% (153/1,127), respectively.
Covid-19 patients also experienced other symptoms like joint pain, palpitations, dizziness and headache. Patients with Covid-19 also reported pain or discomfort more often (23% [254/1,127]) and anxiety or depression (12% [131/1,127]) than non-Covid-19 participants (5% [57/1,127] and 5% [61/1,127]respectively).
19% (123/650) reported anxiety or depression. The proportion of Covid-19 patients without long Covid reporting these symptoms was 10% (55/540) and 4% (19/540) at two years, respectively.
Long Covid participants also reported mobility issues more often (5% [33/650]) or activity levels (4% [24/540]) than those without long Covid (1% [8/540] and 2% [10/540]respectively), he said.