Covid survivors continued to have problems with their mental and physical health. According to findings from UK researchers, 1 in 5 people developed a new disability and similarly either were working or were required to change jobs because of their health.
Middle-aged white women with severe covid-19 and at least two conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or a severe heart disease, were the most susceptible people to persistent symptoms.
“Our results show a large burden of symptoms, mental and physical health problems and evidence of organ damage five months after discharge with COVID-19,” Rachael Evans, University of Leicester associate professor and respiratory consultant at hospitals in Leicester, said in a statement.
She said, “It is also clear that those who required mechanical ventilation and were admitted to intensive care take longer to recover,” but she emphasized that the seriousness of the problem has not explained many of the variegated problems that remain and indicates other underlying reasons.
In the UK-wide study, 1,077 people discharged from the hospital who developed Covid-19 were analyzed between March and November 2020. Of them, 67% in White, 36% in women and 50% in women had two or more conditions that put them at risk for serious illness.
Only 29 percent of people said they felt fully recovered when followed 5 months later, while over 90 percent had at least 1 persistent symptom, most of them had an average of 9 persistent symptoms.
According to a study which was not reviewed by peers, the 10 more common symptoms were pain in the muscle, fatigue, physique loss, poor qualities of sleep, joint pain or swelling, weakness of the limb, respiratory failure, pain, short-term memory loss, and slow thinking.
More than 25% of people with clinical anxiety or depression, and 12% with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms were also affected Mental Health (PTSD).
The participants were also divided into four groups based on the seriousness of their follow-up symptoms: Very severe, serious, moderate and mild and 46% of the last group of people.
The researchers also identified a potential cause of the ongoing health effect on these groups.
Louise Wain, chair of the respiratory studies at the University of Leicester and co-investigator of the study, has explained that five months after discharge patients with the most severe symptoms have high levels of a protein called c-reactive protein, which associate inflammation in the body.
‘Systemic inflammation is known from previous studies to be associated with poor disease-wide recovery,’ Wain said.
In the groups, persistent inflammation was linked to the severity of the symptoms in the body determined by this C-reactive protein, but not to the severity of the effects of Covid-19 in the hospital.
“We also know that autoimmunity, where the body has an immune response to its own healthy cells and organs, is more common in middle-aged women. This may explain why post-COVID syndrome seems to be more prevalent in this group, but further investigation is needed to fully understand the processes.”
The scientists are now calling for more care for Covid’s survivors. Our findings support the need for a proactive clinical follow-up approach, which includes symptoms, mental and physical health, but also objective cognition assessment,” said Chris Brightling, University of Leicester Professor of Ambient Medicine and Chief Research Officer for this research.