Long Covid: symptoms would subside after two years for the majority of patients, study reveals

Home Long Covid: symptoms would subside after two years for the majority of patients, study reveals
Written by Doug Hampton

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A study found that the symptoms of patients with long Covid would improve after two years. However, several scenarios remain possible depending on the patient.

A study was carried out by Dr Viet-Thi Tran, epidemiologist (Paris Cité University / AP-HP), with 2,197 patients from the “ComPare” cohort suffering from long Covid, followed regularly. His results were published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. According to her, the symptoms of patients affected by the long Covid seem to subside after two years.

Fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, intermittent fever, loss of taste or smell, difficulty concentrating, depression… the long Covid is manifested by one or more symptoms from a long list, generally within three months after infection and persisting for at least two months.

It is not a single “disease” but a complex syndrome resulting from multiple often intertwined mechanisms, which explains the complex and often heterogeneous clinical picture of patients, recalls the AP-HP in a press release. According to the study, about 90% of people with long Covid still report symptoms a year after their initial infection.

Three different patient trajectories

The researchers were able to identify three trajectories in the patients. The overwhelming majority (91%) had a slow improvement in their symptoms over time (with an average reduction of around 25% in the number of symptoms reported within 2 years of onset).

About 4% of patients had a rapid improvement in their symptoms (with complete remission of symptoms within two years of onset). Compared to the other patients, these people were younger and had no history of functional disease (chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, etc.). These patients more frequently presented with cervical, dorsal and lumbar pain and digestive symptoms during their acute illness.

About 5% of patients, on the other hand, had significant and persistent symptoms over time. These patients were generally older, smokers and had a history of autoimmune disease. They more frequently presented symptoms such as tachycardia, bradycardia, palpitations, arrhythmias, hot flushes, sweating and intolerance to cold and heat, during their acute illness.

These results will make it possible to better inform patients of the evolution of their long Covid and to better estimate the needs of the health system to meet the challenge of the long Covid, welcomes the AP-HP.

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