A Dutch study released on Saturday reports that one in eight adults infected with COVID-19 will experience long-term symptoms, or what is often referred to as long COVID.
Long COVID refers to any of more than two dozen symptoms that persist, recur, or appear for at least a month after a coronavirus infection. These can affect any part of the body and can include fatigue, shortness of breath, brain fog, and blood clots.
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The study, published in The Lancet, found that of its 76,422 participants, “21.4 percent had at least one new or greatly increased symptom three to five months after infection compared to before infection, compared to 8.7 percent of uninfected individuals surveyed over the same period, suggesting that one in eight COVID-19 patients (12.7 percent) in the general population will experience long-term symptoms due to COVID-19.”
In a statement released Thursday, lead author Judith Rosmalen of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands said the study, titled “Persistence of somatic symptoms after COVID-19 in the Netherlands,” examines the symptoms most commonly associated with long-term COVID to be brought. including breathing problems, fatigue, and loss of taste or smell, both before a COVID-19 diagnosis and in people who have not been diagnosed with the virus.
“This method allows us to account for pre-existing symptoms and symptoms in uninfected individuals to provide an improved working definition of long COVID and provide a reliable estimate of how likely long COVID-19 is to be present in the general population,” Rosmalen said .
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She said there was an “urgent need” for data that could inform the extent and scope of the long-term symptoms some patients experience after contracting COVID-19.
“However, most previous research on long COVID has not addressed the frequency of these symptoms in people who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19, or the symptoms of individual patients prior to diagnosis of COVID-19,” Rosmalen added.
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Researchers identify core symptoms of long-standing COVID-19
According to the press release, researchers in this study collected data by asking participants to regularly fill out digital questionnaires on 23 symptoms commonly associated with long-term COVID.
The questionnaire was sent 24 times to the same people between March 2020 and August 2021.
“Most of the data was collected before the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Netherlands, so the number of vaccinated participants was too small to analyze in this study,” the press release reads.
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The researchers said that by looking at people’s symptoms both before and after COVID-19 infection, they were able to identify core symptoms of long-standing COVID-19.
These core symptoms are chest pain, difficulty breathing, pain when breathing, muscle aches, loss of taste and smell, tingling in extremities, lump in throat, feeling hot and cold, heavy arms and/or legs, and general fatigue.
“The severity of these symptoms plateaued three months after infection with no further decline,” the press release said.
“Other symptoms that did not increase significantly three to five months after a COVID-19 diagnosis included headache, itchy eyes, dizziness, back pain and nausea,” she added.
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The study’s graduate student and first author, Aranka Ballering, said that “these core symptoms have major implications for future research because these symptoms can be used to distinguish between a post-COVID-19 condition and non-COVID-19 related symptoms.” differentiate. ”
Ballering said that as a result of the study, she and her teammates were able to identify symptoms stemming from people experiencing stress caused by the pandemic, which are mental rather than physical.
“The post-COVID-19 condition, also known as long COVID, is an urgent problem with an increasing number of people. Understanding the core symptoms and prevalence of post-COVID-19 in the general population represents a major advance in our ability to design studies that may ultimately lead to successful public health responses to the long-term symptoms of COVID-19,” she said.
-With files from Reuters
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https://globalnews.ca/news/9041926/dutch-study-long-covid-symptoms/ 1 in 8 adults ends up with long COVID, new Dutch study finds – National