The study also reported that between six and 12 months, there was a reduction in symptoms. Extreme breathlessness dropped from affecting 38% of patients to 30%, cognitive dysfunction decreased from 48% to 38%, and poor quality of life declined from 57% to 45%.
There have been various past studies confirming the persistence of symptoms among long COVID patients for up to one year.
“We now add that three in five people with long COVID have impairment in at least one organ, and one in four have impairment in two or more organs, in some cases without symptoms,” Banerjee said.
This sparks major concern for individuals’ quality of life, as well as the impact on health systems and economies when time off work is required– particularly among healthcare workers.
“Many healthcare workers in our study had no prior illness, but of 172 participants, 19 were still symptomatic at follow-up and off work at a median of 180 days,” Banerjee revealed.
Still, the mechanisms that underlie long COVID have remained puzzling– since the researchers did not find any evidence to distinctly define long COVID subtypes via symptoms, blood tests, or MRIs.
So, the team has advocated for future research and integrated care that considers the relationship between symptoms and multi-organ impairment.
“Organ impairment in long COVID has implications for symptoms, quality of life, and longer-term health, signaling the need for prevention and integrated care for long COVID patients.”
To read the study’s complete findings, visit the link here.
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