European studies shed light on long COVID risk and recovery | CIDRAP

Symptoms lasting 15 weeks likely to persist

Researchers from the Luxembourg Institute of Health surveyed 289 people about whether they had any of 64 common long COVID symptoms 1 year after they tested positive. Patients were also asked about their sleep quality and the effect of respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath on quality of life. Average patient age was 40.2 years, and 50.2% were women.

The researchers found that 6 in 10 patients (59.5%) had at least one COVID-19 symptom, and that symptoms that don’t resolve by 15 weeks are likely to persist for at least a year. One in seven participants (14.2%) indicated that they couldn’t fathom coping with their symptoms long term. The most common symptoms were fatigue, shortness of breath, and irritability.

One-third (34.3%) still had fatigue, while 12.9% said respiratory symptoms were affecting their quality of life, and 54.2% still had sleep issues. Patients who had moderate or severe infections were twice as likely as those with asymptomatic cases to report symptoms, with 63.8% versus 38.6% still having poor sleep quality.

Source: European studies shed light on long COVID risk and recovery | CIDRAP