Long-term Covid sufferers experience a wider set of symptoms, including hair loss and sexual dysfunction, new research has found.
a study published in nature medicine Today (25 July 2022) found that patients with a primary care record of infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus) reported 62 symptoms more frequently than those 12 weeks after initial infection. Reported those who did not contract. Virus.
The anonymous electronic health records of 2.4 million people in the UK were analyzed by researchers from the University of Birmingham with a team of physicians and researchers from across England, and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research and UK Research and Innovation went. Data taken between January 2020 and April 2021 included 486,149 people with prior infection, and 1.9 million people with no signs of coronavirus infection after matching other clinical diagnoses.
Using only non-hospitalized patients, the team of researchers was able to identify three categories of distinct symptoms reported by people with persistent health problems following infection.
The pattern of symptoms was further categorized into respiratory symptoms, mental health and cognitive problems, and then a wide range of symptoms. While the most common symptoms include anosmia (loss of sense of smell), shortness of breath, chest pain and fever; Others include:
- apraxia (inability to perform familiar movements or commands),
- bowel incontinence,
- limb swelling
Dr Shamil Haroon, Associate Clinical Professor in Public Health at the University of Birmingham, is the study’s senior author. Dr Aaron said:
“This research confirms what patients have been telling clinicians and policy makers throughout the pandemic, that chronic COVID symptoms are extremely widespread and can be attributed to other factors, such as lifestyle risk factors or chronic health conditions. Can’t be solely responsible.”
“The symptoms we identified should help clinicians and clinical guideline developers improve their assessment of patients with long-term effects from COVID-19, and subsequently consider how this symptom burden should be addressed.” how best to be managed.”
Patient partner and co-author of this study Jennifer Camardou said:
“This study is instrumental in creating and adding more value to understanding the complexity and pathology of chronic COVID-19. It sheds light on the degree and diversity of symptom expression among different groups. Patients with pre-existing health conditions also Would welcome additional analysis on risk factors.”
Several other patient participants involved in the Treatments for Longer COVID (TLC) study have expressed their views on living with prolonged COVID, which can be accessed at: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research /applied-health/research/long-covid/
In addition to identifying a broad set of symptoms, the research team also found key demographic groups and behaviors that put people at risk of developing chronic COVID.
Studies show that women, young people; or being of a black, mixed or other ethnic group has a higher risk of developing chronic covid. In addition, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, smokers, those who are overweight or obese, as well as the presence of a wide range of health conditions were associated with more frequent reporting of symptoms.
Anuradha Subramaniam, Research Fellow at the Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham and lead author of the paper, said:
“Our data analysis on risk factors is of particular interest as it helps us consider what may be possible causes or contributors to long COVID. We already know that certain factors such as smoking and obesity Modified traits put people at risk for a variety of diseases and conditions, including long-term covid. However, others such as biological sex and ethnicity also appear to be important.
“Women, for example, are more likely to experience autoimmune diseases. Given the increased likelihood of chronic Covid in women in our study, it is of interest to us to investigate whether autoimmunity or other factors predispose women to may explain the increased risk. These observations will help women further reduce the risk. Let the investigation focus on the factors that may cause these persistent symptoms after infection, and how we can help those patients who are experiencing them.”
Patient records for 2.3 million people enabled the research team to capture SARS-CoV-2 infections at a unique point in the global pandemic. The study focused on the first phase of the pandemic in the UK between January 2020 and April 2021 and provides the team with an opportunity to compare meaningful numbers of people with coronavirus infection with a control group of uninfected people.
The interdisciplinary team involved epidemiologists, clinicians, data scientists, statisticians and patients to decode electronic health records to accurately capture persistent symptoms experienced after infection.
Dr Shamil Haroon said:
“The results are both a testament to the opportunities that these public health datasets provide, and to the power of collaborative work to provide much needed evidence around the experiences of many people who were affected by persistent symptoms following infection with the coronavirus. I hope our research will further validate the voices of patients and participation groups and provide an approach to support health care responses to new and emerging diseases.”