7 Out of 10 Hospitalized for COVID Have Long-Haul Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) – If you land in hospital with a COVID-19 infection, there’s a good chance you’ll still be suffering from symptoms months later, researchers report.

A wide range of persistent health problems affected more than 70% of these patients, investigators found.

“From the start, we completely ignored the long-term consequences of illness with this virus,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Steven Goodman, professor of epidemiology, population health and medicine. at Stanford University. “People were told it was all in their heads. The question is not so real now, but how big the problem is.”

To determine this, his team analyzed 45 studies published between January 2020 and March 2021. The studies included more than 9,700 patients with COVID-19. Of these, 83% had been hospitalized.

They found that 72.5% of study participants reported still having at least one of 84 persistent clinical symptoms or signs, the most common being fatigue (40%), shortness of breath (36%), sleep disturbances (29%), inability to concentrate (25%), depression and anxiety (20%), and general pain and discomfort (20%).

Other problems reported by patients included loss of taste and smell, memory loss, chest pain, and fevers.

Persistent symptoms were defined as those that lasted for at least 60 days after diagnosis, onset of symptoms or hospitalization, or at least 30 days after recovery from acute illness or discharge from hospital.

If even a portion of those patients require ongoing care, they could represent a huge public health burden, Goodman said.

“If anything in the order of 70% of those coming out of moderate to severe COVID-19 show persistent symptoms, that’s a huge number,” Goodman said in a Stanford press release. “It is amazing how many symptoms are part of what is now called COVID along.”

The study was published on May 26 in the journal JAMA Network Openot.

“We did this study because there has been a lot of commentary and scientific articles on long-term symptoms of COVID,” said study lead author Tahmina Nasserie, a graduate student in epidemiology at Stanford .

“But few had dug deep enough into the scientific evidence to show the full range, how long they lasted and who they affected,” she noted in the statement.

“The numbers are very shocking, especially for fatigue and shortness of breath,” Nasserie said. “These were pretty debilitating symptoms, with some people reporting difficulty climbing stairs.”

More information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on post-COVID conditions.

SOURCE: Stanford University, press release, May 26, 2021

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