Negative health consequences from severe cases of COVID-19 continue to affect many people a year after contracting the disease, highlighting the critical need for treatment development, according to a study published in the United Kingdom on April 24. “Without effective treatments, long COVID may become a highly prevalent new long-term condition,” said co-author Christopher Brightling of the University of Leicester.
What conclusions did the study draw?
The study, which included over 2,300 participants, found that only 26% of those hospitalised with COVID-19 reported complete recovery after five months and only 28.9 percent after a full year. According to the study, women were 33% less likely than men to make a full recovery. Those who required mechanical ventilation while in the hospital, as well as those who were obese, were at an increased risk. Breathlessness, fatigue, muscle pain, sleep problems, limb weakness, and mental health impairment were the most frequently reported symptoms among long-term COVID patients.
According to Brightling, there is a “urgent need for health care services to support this large and rapidly growing patient population.” Even a year after being discharged from the hospital, many people with prolonged COVID exhibit severe symptoms, including “reduced exercise capacity and significant declines in health-related quality of life,” the authors wrote.