A new scientific report – that was written in March 2021 and has not been peer reviewed – claims to have identified 55 long-term effects associated with covid-19. Most of the effects correspond to clinical symptoms such as fatigue, headache, joint pain, anosmia, ageusia, etc. In addition, diseases such as stroke and diabetes mellitus were also present, says the report.
The 5 most common manifestations were:
- Fatigue (58%, 95% CI 42–73)
- Headache (44%, 95% CI 13–78)
- Attention disorder (27% 95% CI 19–36)
- Hair loss (25%, 95% CI 17–34)
- Dyspnea (24%, 95% CI 14–36)
The study shows other symptoms were related to lung disease (cough, chest discomfort, reduced pulmonary diffusing capacity, sleep apnea, and pulmonary fibrosis), cardiovascular (arrhythmias, myocarditis), neurological (dementia, depression, anxiety, attention disorder, obsessive–compulsive disorders), and others were unspecific such as hair loss, tinnitus, and night sweat.
A couple of studies reported that fatigue was more common in females, and one study reported that post-activity polypnea and alopecia were more common in females.
The rest of the studies did not stratify their results by age or sex.
The report says symptoms, signs, or abnormal clinical parameters persisting two or more weeks after covid-19 onset – that do not return to a healthy baseline – can potentially be considered long-term effects of the disease.
The report, first published in August, concludes…There is a need for more information about prospective studies to better evaluate the natural course of covid-19 infection and define the long- covid-19 syndrome.
From the clinical point of view, physicians should be aware of the symptoms, signs, and biomarkers present in patients previously affected by covid-19 to promptly assess, identify and halt long covid-19 progression, minimize the risk of chronic effects help reestablish pre-covid-19 health.
The full report is here.