The report “drives home the point that long Covid can affect almost any organ system,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, head of the research and development service at the VA St. Louis Healthcare system, said, who was not involved in the new study.
“Some of these manifestations are chronic conditions that will last a lifetime and leave some individuals and families forever,” said Dr. Al-Aly added, who was the author of a large study published in April on persistent symptoms in Covid patients in the department. of health system for veterans matters.
In the new study, the most common problem patients sought medical attention for was pain – including nerve inflammation and pain associated with nerves and muscles – reported by more than 5 percent of patients or nearly 100,000 people, more than ‘ a fifth of those who reported problems after Covid. Breathing problems, including shortness of breath, were experienced by 3.5 percent of patients with post-Covid.
Nearly 3 percent of patients sought treatment for symptoms marked with diagnostic codes for malaise and fatigue, a far-reaching category that can include problems such as brain fog and exhaustion that worsen after physical or mental activity – effects reported by many people with long Covid.
Other new issues for patients, especially adults in their 40s and 50s, included high cholesterol, which was diagnosed in 3 percent of all patients after Covid, and high blood pressure, which was diagnosed in 2.4 percent. Dr. Al-Aly said such health conditions, which are not commonly considered as side effects of the virus, make it “increasingly clear that post-Covid or long-covid have a metabolic signature characterized by abnormalities in the metabolic machinery. “
Relatively few deaths – 594 – occurred 30 days or more after Covid, and most were among people admitted to hospital due to their coronavirus infection, the report said.
The study, like many electronic records, covered only a few aspects of the post-Covid landscape. It did not say when patients’ symptoms appeared or how long the problems persisted, and it did not say exactly when patients sought help from doctors after infection, but only that it was 30 days or longer.