Long COVID Symptoms Can Persist for More Than 1 Year, Study Shows

 | Post date: 2021/08/30 | 

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Nearly one half of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 suffer at least one lingering symptom 1 year after discharge, according to the largest study yet to assess the dynamic recovery of a group of COVID-19 survivors 12 months after the illness.

The most common lingering symptoms are fatigue and muscle weakness. One third continue to have shortness of breath.

Overall, at 12 months, COVID-19 survivors had more problems with mobility, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression, and had lower self-assessment scores of quality of life than matched COVID-free peers, the investigators report. 

The study was published online August 26 in The Lancet.

"While most had made a good recovery, health problems persisted in some patients, especially those who had been critically ill during their hospital stay," Bin Cao, MD, from the National Center for Respiratory Medicine at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and Capital Medical University, both in Beijing, said in a Lancet news release.

"Our findings suggest that recovery for some patients will take longer than one year, and this should be taken into account when planning delivery of healthcare services post-pandemic," Cao said.

Long COVID is a modern medical challenge of the first order

"As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the need to understand and respond to long COVID is increasingly pressing," says a Lancet editorial.




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