Older women with multiple Covid-19 symptoms at the same time are at higher risk of developing what experts have called “Covid Long,” which can linger on the effects of the disease for months, according to a UK study.
Indeed, this is not an uncommon situation. The survey, coordinated by Claire Steves of King’s College London, found that 13.3% of those infected said they had symptoms for a month or more, while the average of those who had Covid-19 was 11 days.
The data has just been published in an article in the journal Nature Medicine and was obtained thanks to the participation of more than 4,000 patients in the UK, US and Sweden who signed up in a request from researchers to monitor their health. Although the information was collected during the first wave of Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus infections in Europe and North America between March and September 2020, Steves says it likely continues to reflect the current disease scenario.
“We are monitoring cases of Covid long after this analysis and I fear that despite improvements in the treatment of acute Covid, we are not seeing any reduction in the number of cases with persistent symptoms [ou seja, logo após a infecção] in hospitals, ”the researcher told Folha. Less bad news, however, is that the emergence of new variants of the virus does not appear to have made this situation worse. “We should publish data on it soon.”
The King’s College team only included people in the study who said they had a positive result (that is, the presence of the virus in the body) in PCR tests, which was considered the most reliable. The incidence of long-term Covid was 50% more common in women and twice as common in people over the age of 70.
The first data seem surprising as the majority of deaths from the disease worldwide are concentrated in the male population. “The point is, men tend to have more severe symptoms in the early stages of the disease,” explains Steves. “This may be due to differences in the way men and women report their symptoms, but it may also be due to differences in the immune response to the virus in each sex. It’s something we need more research to understand. “
Almost everyone affected by the long-term version of the disease reported fatigue and intermittent headaches. Loss of smell and taste as well as respiratory problems were also very common. Additionally, the functionality of an application has helped scientists get a clearer picture of how long Covid has had its own properties.
Since patients can not only click on a list of symptoms selected by the program manufacturers, they can also enter other symptoms. In more than 80% of the cases, those who had long Covid opted for this function (compared to 45% of those who had “Covid Short”). The manifestations they cited included heart symptoms (palpitations, tachycardia), difficulty concentrating and / or memory, tinnitus and ear pain, a feeling of prickling or numbness.
The study suggests that having more than five of these symptoms in the first week of illness is a good way to predict the future occurrence of long Covid. The researchers argue that it is important to consider health system strategies to manage these cases, which are becoming increasingly numerous around the world. We are a family business.
The factors associated with “long-term covid”
A UK study of 4,182 people followed by an application found that:
13.3% had symptoms for a month or longer 4.5% for two months or longer – 2.3% for three months or longer The mean duration of symptoms in the entire group was 11 days
The most persistent forms of the disease are linked to:
Older age (10% of patients between 18 and 49 years of age versus 21.9% of those over 70) Female gender (14.9% versus 9.5% of men) Asthmatics More than five different symptoms in the first week of illness