More than 75 percent of coronavirus patients have at least one symptom six months after their illness, according to a new study.
The researchers found that the most common symptom in coronavirus patients was fatigue and muscle weakness, which was reported in at least two-thirds of patients.
In addition, of around 400 patients who were tested for lung function, more than half who had to be ventilated had severe values six months later – which could indicate permanent organ damage.
In addition, antibody levels tested in 100 patients decreased by more than half during the follow-up, which raises questions about the potential of reinfection, according to the team at Jin Yin-tan Hospital of Wuhan Research Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Communicable Diseases in China.
A new study from the Jin Yin-tan Hospital in China found that more than 75% of patients reported at least one symptom six months later, with 63% being the most common being fatigue and muscle weakness. Pictured: Dr. Thomas Yadegar checks Mindy Cross’s vital signs while her husband, Dr. Neil Hecht (right) rests in a bed next to her at the Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center in Tarzana, California, in January 2021
Among 100 patients tested for antibody levels, most had levels reduced by half, raising questions about the potential for re-infection (see above).
For the study published in The Lancet, the team looked at 1,733 COVID-19 patients discharged from Jin Yin-tan Hospital between January 7 and May 29.
You were followed up from June 16 to September 3, with a median of 186 days after symptoms appeared.
The patients were interviewed personally using questionnaires in which their symptoms and health-related quality of life were assessed.
They were also given physical exams, laboratory blood tests, and a six-minute walk test to measure endurance.
A total of 76 percent of patients – more than 1,200 – reported at least one symptom at follow-up.
The results showed that the most common persistent symptom was fatigue or muscle weakness, which was noted in 63 percent of patients six months later.
The second most common long-lasting symptom was insomnia, which was reported in 26 percent of patients.
Another 23 percent said they had anxiety or depression long after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
The second most frequently reported symptoms were hair loss and bad taste, which occurred in 22 percent and 11 percent of patients, respectively.
Other symptoms – in less than 10 percent – were palpitations, joint pain, loss of appetite, taste disturbance and dizziness.
The researchers also found that patients who had a more severe illness in the hospital had decreased lung function.
Of the 349 patients who took a lung function test, 56 percent of those who needed ventilation had the most severe scores on a scale of one to six.
Along with abnormalities in breast imaging, decreased lung function could indicate permanent organ damage.
This wasn’t just seen in the lungs. About 13 percent of patients who had normal kidney function in the hospital had a reduction during follow-up.
During the six-minute walk test, a third of those who needed mechanical ventilation walked less than the lower limit of the normal range.
Most recently, the researchers examined neutralizing antibody levels in 94 patients who were tested at the peak of the infection.
The results showed that levels fell more than half – 52.5 percent – after six months, raising concerns about the potential for re-infection.
“With Covid-19 being such a new disease, we are only just beginning to understand some of its long-term effects on patient health,” said Professor Bin Cao of the National Center for Respiratory Medicine at Beijing’s Chin-Japan Friendship Hospital, the press association said.
‘Our analysis shows that most patients continue to live with at least some of the effects of the virus after leaving the hospital and shows that care is required after discharge, especially for those with severe infections.
“Our work also underscores the importance of longer follow-up studies in larger populations to understand the full spectrum of the effects of Covid-19 on humans.”