A recent comprehensive study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine analyzed organ impairment among patients with long COVID for 12 months.
The analysis found that in 59% of patients, organ damage continued one year after the initial symptom onset– even among patients who were not severely impacted when initially diagnosed with COVID-19.
The research focused on patients experiencing cognitive dysfunction, extreme breathlessness, and poor quality of life.
A total of 536 long COVID patients participated in the study. About 13% experienced hospitalization when initially diagnosed with the virus; meanwhile, 32% of the study participants were healthcare workers.
Of the group, 331 patients– or 62%– were deemed to have organ impairment six months after COVID-19 diagnosis.
So, they were followed up with six months later, at which time they underwent a 40-minute multi-organ MRI scan known as Perspectum’s CoverScan. The results were then assessed in Oxford.
The team found that 29% of long COVID patients had multi-organ impairment– resulting in lasting symptoms and reduced organ function at both six and twelve months.
Additionally, 59% of patients with long COVID were found to have single organ impairment after their initial diagnosis 12 months prior.
According to Amitava Banerjee, a professor of clinical data science, symptoms were common at both six and 12 months. They were also associated with younger age, female gender, and single organ impairment.