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Half Of Hospitalised Covid Patients Have Persisting Symptoms After A Year: Lancet Study

The research on 1,276 patients from Wuhan, China, shows that around one in three people still experienced shortness of breath after 12 months, while lung impairments persisted in some patients, especially those who had experienced the most severe illness with COVID-19

Half Of Hospitalised Covid Patients Have Persisting Symptoms After A Year: Lancet Study
Highlights
  • While most made a good recovery, health problems persisted in some: Study
  • Recovery for some patients will take longer than one year: Study
  • Patients reported experiencing shortness of breath at12 months: Study

Beijing: Around half the people hospitalised with COVID-19 experience at least one persistent symptom up to 12 months after the infection, according to a study published in The Lancet journal on Friday (August 27). The research on 1,276 patients from Wuhan, China, shows that around one in three people still experienced shortness of breath after 12 months, while lung impairments persisted in some patients, especially those who had experienced the most severe illness with COVID-19.

Also Read: What Are COVID-19 Breakthrough Infections? How Long Does Immunity Last After COVID-19 Vaccination? An Expert Explains

COVID-19 survivors were found to be less healthy than people from the wider community who had not been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. “Our study is the largest to date to assess the health outcomes of hospitalised COVID-19 survivors after 12 months of becoming ill,” said Professor Bin Cao, from China-Japan Friendship Hospital.

While most had made a good recovery, health problems persisted in some patients, especially those who had been critically ill during their hospital stay, Professor Cao said.

The study findings suggest that recovery for some patients will take longer than one year, and this should be taken into account when planning delivery of healthcare services post-pandemic.

A previous study by the same team on 1,733 hospitalised COVID-19 survivors found that around three-quarters of patients had persistent health problems after six months of infection. The new study analysed data from patients who had been discharged from hospital between January 7 and May 29, 2020.

The patients underwent detailed health checks at six and 12 months to assess any ongoing symptoms and their health-related quality of life. These included face-to-face questionnaires, physical examinations, lab tests, and a six-minute walking test to gauge patients’ endurance levels.

Also Read: Mumbai Gets Ready For The Third Wave Of Coronavirus, Inaugurates COVID Care Center For Children

The average age of patients included in the study was 57 years. Patient outcomes were tracked for an average of 185 days and 349 days. Many symptoms resolved over time, regardless of the severity of initial COVID-19 disease, the researchers said. However, the proportion of patients still experiencing at least one symptom after one year fell from 68 per cent at six months to 49 per cent at 12 months, they said.

This decrease was observed regardless of the severity of COVID-19 the patients had experienced when hospitalised. The study shows that fatigue or muscle weakness was the most commonly reported symptom with around half of patients experiencing this at six months, falling to one in five patients at one year.

Almost one third of patients reported experiencing shortness of breath at 12 months, which was slightly higher than at six months, according to the researchers. This was more prevalent in patients who had been the most severely ill and had been on a ventilator during their time in hospital, compared to those who had not required oxygen treatment, they said.

At the six-month check, 349 study participants underwent a lung function test and 244 of those patients completed the same test at 12 months. The proportion of patients experiencing diffusion impairment did not improve from six months to 12 months and this was seen across all groups regardless of how ill they had been when hospitalised. Also at the six-month check, 353 study participants underwent a chest CT scan.

The researchers found that around one half of them showed lung abnormalities on their scan. Of the 118 patients who completed the scan at 12 months, the proportion of patients with abnormalities decreased substantially across all groups but was still high, particularly in the most critically ill group, they said. Compared with men, women were 1.4 times more likely to report fatigue or muscle weakness, twice as likely to report anxiety or depression, and almost three times as likely to have lung diffusion impairment after 12 months, according to the study.

People who had been treated with corticosteroids during the acute phase of their illness with COVID-19 were 1.5 times as likely to experience fatigue or muscle weakness after 12 months, compared to those who had not been treated during their illness. The researchers found that slightly more patients experienced anxiety or depression at one year than at six months and the proportion was much greater in COVID-19 survivors than in matched people from the wider community.

We do not yet fully understand why psychiatric symptoms are slightly more common at one year than at six months in COVID-19 survivors. These could be caused by a biological process linked to the virus infection itself, or the body’s immune response to it. Or they could be linked to reduced social contact, loneliness, incomplete recovery of physical health or loss of employment associated with illness, said Xiaoying Gu, one of the study’s authors, from China-Japan Friendship Hospital.

The authors acknowledged that their study was focused on a single hospital and so patient outcomes may not be generalisable to other settings. The study included only a small number of patients who had been admitted to intensive care and findings relating to the most critically ill patients should be interpreted with caution, they added.

Also Read: Experts On WHO Team Say Search For COVID Origins Has Stalled

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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World

24,24,98,327Cases
20,40,54,102Active
3,35,14,449Recovered
49,29,776Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,24,98,327 and 49,29,776 have died; 20,40,54,102 are active cases and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 5:24 am.

India

3,41,43,236 15,786Cases
1,75,7453,086Active
3,35,14,449 18,641Recovered
4,53,042 231Deaths
In India, there are 3,41,43,236 confirmed cases including 4,53,042 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,75,745 and 3,35,14,449 have recovered as on October 22, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,98,218 1,573

27,899 1,434

64,30,394 2,968

1,39,925 39

Kerala

48,88,523 8,733

82,093 1,240

47,79,228 9,855

27,202 118

Karnataka

29,84,849 365

9,017 86

29,37,848 443

37,984 8

Tamil Nadu

26,91,797 1,164

13,790 268

26,42,039 1,412

35,968 20

Andhra Pradesh

20,62,303 493

5,500 66

20,42,476 552

14,327 7

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,068 10

107 5

16,87,062 14

22,899 1

West Bengal

15,83,646 833

7,535 44

15,57,090 775

19,021 14

Delhi

14,39,488 22

311 1

14,14,087 21

25,090

Odisha

10,37,056 524

4,336 51

10,24,422 573

8,298 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,773 38

206 21

9,91,995 16

13,572 1

Rajasthan

9,54,395 2

36 2

9,45,405 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,353 13

156 20

8,16,110 33

10,087

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,721 12

88 6

7,82,110 6

10,523

Haryana

7,71,125 9

131 2

7,60,945 11

10,049

Bihar

7,26,042 6

30 0

7,16,351 6

9,661

Telangana

6,69,739 183

3,967 1

6,61,829 183

3,943 1

Assam

6,07,811 384

3,762 152

5,98,087 228

5,962 4

Punjab

6,02,135 22

226 6

5,85,358 27

16,551 1

Jharkhand

3,48,526 40

166 24

3,43,225 16

5,135

Uttarakhand

3,43,787 14

176 0

3,36,213 14

7,398

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,386 87

814 14

3,26,143 73

4,429

Himachal Pradesh

2,22,138 202

1,452 58

2,16,955 140

3,731 4

Goa

1,77,765 59

618 21

1,73,790 35

3,357 3

Puducherry

1,27,564 43

454 7

1,25,258 50

1,852

Manipur

1,23,051 81

1,346 14

1,19,800 94

1,905 1

Mizoram

1,15,944 737

10,034 229

1,05,510 962

400 4

Tripura

84,369 18

105 10

83,448 8

816

Meghalaya

83,210 52

735 26

81,034 76

1,441 2

Chandigarh

65,315 3

26 2

64,469 1

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,065 22

140 2

54,645 20

280

Sikkim

31,819 19

185 10

31,241 9

393

Nagaland

31,670 11

250 5

30,743 15

677 1

Ladakh

20,896 10

43 9

20,645 1

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,678 2

4 2

10,670

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,646

7 0

7,510

129

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