Infectious Disease

More than 70% of COVID-19 patients have at least one persistent symptom

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More than 70% of patients who have recovered from COVID-19 have at least one persistent symptom for at least 60 days, according to the results of a systematic review recently published on JAMA Network Open.

“With millions of people suffering from COVID-19 infection, persistent symptoms are a burden for individual patients and their families, as well as for outpatient care, public health and the economy.” Tahmina Nasserie, MPH, a PhD student in epidemiology at Stanford University, and colleagues wrote.

“The study designs reported so far preclude accurate risk assessments of many long-term outcomes, particularly patient or disease characteristics, but they suggest that the problem of persistent symptoms is significant,” they wrote.

Nasserie and colleagues reviewed more than 1,200 related article titles and abstracts from PubMed and Web of Science published between January 1, 2020 and March 11, 2021, and examined persistent symptoms in COVID-19 survivors, defined as symptoms that Persist for 60 years, days or more after diagnosis, onset of symptoms, or hospitalization, or 30 days or more after recovery from acute illness or discharge from hospital. The review included 45 studies with 84 clinical signs or symptoms.

A total of 9,751 patients were included in the 45 studies. In 16 studies, most of which included patients who had previously been hospitalized, the median proportion of patients who had at least one persistent symptom was 72.5% (interquartile range [IQR] = 55% -80%). The most commonly observed symptoms included shortness of breath or dyspnoea (mean frequency = 36%; IQR = 27.6% -50%), fatigue or tiredness (40%; IQR = 31% -57%), and insomnia (29.4%) ; IQR.). = 24.4% -33%), Nasserie and colleagues reported.

They noted several limitations to the study, including the inability to measure the duration of persistent symptoms, the percentage of symptoms resolved, and the long-term course of global function and quality of life.

“The results of this review should help improve future study quality and reduce heterogeneity in study design and reporting so that researchers can better assess the risk of long-term outcomes associated with COVID-19 and physicians can better advise and treat their patients. “Wrote the authors.

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