Long COVID is not to be taken lightly and if untreated could become a “highly prevalent new long-term condition”.
This has been proven by the results of a UK study, which were published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. The study found that just 29 per cent of the hospitalised patients they had studied fully recovered after a year.
In the study, in which 2,300 patients were studied, not even one in four people had completely recovered from COVID after a year of being hospitalised with the disease. And women were 33 per cent less likely to fully recover than men, while obese people were half as likely to fully recover. And those who needed mechanical ventilation were 58 percent less likely.
After five months, just 26 per cent of those studied had a full recovery, while after a year 28.9 per cent recovered completely. These results indicate that long COVID could become a common condition, warned the researchers.
The study looked at the health of people who were discharged from 39 British hospitals with COVID between March 2020 and April 2021. They assessed the recovery of 807 of them after a period of five months and again one year later. The most common long-COVID symptoms were fatigue, muscle pain, poor sleep, slowing down physically and breathlessness.
This study, which is ongoing, will continue to monitor the health of the patients.
A report in ChinaDaily.com.cn quoted the study co-leader Rachel Evans of the National Institute for Health and Care Research, who said that it was “striking” that the patients had limited recovery after a period of five months to one year after hospitalisation, across symptoms, mental health, exercise capacity, organ impairment and quality-of-life.
According to the report, the study co-lead Christopher Brightling of the University of Leicester meanwhile said that without effective treatments, long COVID could become a highly prevalent new long-term condition.