Covid: Half of hospitalised patients still suffer from symptoms two years on – study

Long Covid victim discusses daily impact of virus

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Although there’s still much unknown about long Covid, this new study showed that symptoms can persist for years. The research, published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, followed people for up to two years after they were released from hospital.

The study found that many hospitalised Covid survivors still suffer from the long-term effects of the virus.

Even though both physical and mental health tend to improve over time, some can still remain symptomatic two years later.

The study suggests that a “fairly high” number of hospitalised patients struggle with poorer health compared to the general population.

Lead author, Prof Bin Cao, said: “Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully.”

There’s still much unknown when it comes to the long-term health effects of coronavirus.

However, this research represents the longest follow-up study to date, focusing on this topic.

The research looked at 1,192 patients discharged from Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China.

The average age was recorded at 57 years at discharge.

The researchers measured health outcomes six, 12 and two years after the initial symptom onset.

They conducted a variety of tests, including walking exercises, questionnaires, laboratory tests and more.

The research also included patients without Covid to determine the best results regarding the recovery status.

The six-month results saw 68 percent of patients still reporting at least one Covid symptom.

The two-year results found that 55 percent still suffered from symptoms.

Furthermore, one in 10 patients has not returned to work even after two years passed.

The most common long Covid symptoms were tiredness, muscle weakness and sleep issues, all reported by 31 percent of participants.

Other signs experienced by the hospitalised patients were:

  • Joint pain
  • Palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches.

In quality-of-life questionnaires, the patients also complained about pain or discomfort and anxiety or depression.

The study concluded: “Regardless of initial disease severity, COVID-19 survivors had longitudinal improvements in physical and mental health, with most returning to their original work within two years.

“However, the burden of symptomatic sequelae remained fairly high.

“COVID-19 survivors had a remarkably lower health status than the general population at two years.

“The study findings indicate that there is an urgent need to explore the pathogenesis of long COVID and develop effective interventions to reduce the risk of long COVID.”

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