LivingAbout 30% of COVID patients develop 'persistent COVID'

About 30% of COVID patients develop 'persistent COVID'

Persistent COVID occurs when acute SARS-CoV-2 virus infection causes signs and symptoms to persist beyond 4 to 12 weeks, unrelated to other patient illnesses.

Now, new research from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has concluded that 30% of people treated for COVID-19 developed acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), more commonly known as “persistent COVID.”

The researchers found that people with a history of hospitalization, diabetes and a higher body mass index were more likely to develop persistent covid than the rest. The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine , found that ethnicity, older age, and socioeconomic status were not associated with persistent Covid syndrome, even though those characteristics have already been linked to severe illness and higher risk of death from COVID-19.

What are the most persistent symptoms?

According to the study, the longest-lasting symptoms were: fatigue and shortness of breath (31% and 15%, respectively) in hospitalized people, and loss of sense of smell (16%) in outpatients.

In general, the most frequent symptoms have been : general malaise, lack of concentration, asthenia and memory failures and the most affected systems or organs have been neurological symptoms, psychic or emotional symptoms, respiratory symptoms, symptoms of the musculoskeletal system or digestive disorders. .

UCLA researchers studied 1,038 people who were enrolled in the UCLA Outpatient Program for COVID between April 2020 and February 2021. Of those, 309 developed persistent COVID.

“This study illustrates the need to follow diverse patient populations longitudinally to understand the disease trajectory of persistent COVID and to assess how individual factors, such as pre-existing comorbidities, sociodemographic factors, vaccination status, and type of variant of the viruses, affect the type and persistence of COVID-19 symptoms,” explains Sun Yoo, assistant clinical professor of health sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and medical director of the Extensivist Program.

“Studying the results in a single health system can minimize the variation in the quality of medical care. Our study also raises questions like: Why were commercially insured patients twice as likely to develop persistent COVID as the rest? Because persistent symptoms can be subjective in nature, we need better tools to accurately diagnose persistent COVID and differentiate it from exacerbations of other emerging or chronic conditions. Finally, we must guarantee equitable access to ambulatory care for patients with persistent covid ”, the experts conclude.

Reference: “Factors Associated with Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) After Diagnosis of Symptomatic COVID-19 in the Inpatient and Outpatient Setting in a Diverse Cohort” by Sun M. Yoo MD, MPH, Teresa C. Liu MD, MPH, Yash Motwani BS, Myung S. Sim DrPH, Nisha Viswanathan MD, Nathan Samras MD, Felicia Hsu MD and Neil S. Wenger MD, MPH, 2022 April 7, Journal of General Internal Medicine .
DOI: 10.1007/s11606-022-07523-3

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