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Post-COVID syndrome in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19: a longitudinal prospective cohort study

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Item Type:Article
Title:Post-COVID syndrome in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19: a longitudinal prospective cohort study
Creators Name:Augustin, M. and Schommers, P. and Stecher, M. and Dewald, F. and Gieselmann, L. and Gruell, H. and Horn, C. and Vanshylla, K. and Cristanziano, V.D. and Osebold, L. and Roventa, M. and Riaz, T. and Tschernoster, N. and Altmueller, J. and Rose, L. and Salomon, S. and Priesner, V. and Luers, J.C. and Albus, C. and Rosenkranz, S. and Gathof, B. and Fätkenheuer, G. and Hallek, M. and Klein, F. and Suárez, I. and Lehmann, C.
Abstract:BACKGROUND: While the leading symptoms during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are acute and the majority of patients fully recover, a significant fraction of patients now increasingly experience long-term health consequences. However, most data available focus on health-related events after severe infection and hospitalisation. We present a longitudinal, prospective analysis of health consequences in patients who initially presented with no or minor symptoms of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Hence, we focus on mild COVID-19 in non-hospitalised patients. METHODS: 958 Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were observed from April 6th to December 2nd 2020 for long-term symptoms and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We identified anosmia, ageusia, fatigue or shortness of breath as most common, persisting symptoms at month 4 and 7 and summarised presence of such long-term health consequences as post-COVID syndrome (PCS). Predictors of long-term symptoms were assessed using an uni- and multivariable logistic regression model. FINDINGS: We observed 442 and 353 patients over four and seven months after symptom onset, respectively. Four months post SARS-CoV-2 infection, 8•6% (38/442) of patients presented with shortness of breath, 12•4% (55/442) with anosmia, 11•1% (49/442) with ageusia and 9•7% (43/442) with fatigue. At least one of these characteristic symptoms was present in 27•8% (123/442) and 34•8% (123/353) at month 4 and 7 post-infection, respectively. A lower baseline level of SARS-CoV-2 IgG, anosmia and diarrhoea during acute COVID-19 were associated with higher risk to develop long-term symptoms. INTERPRETATION: The on-going presence of either shortness of breath, anosmia, ageusia or fatigue as long-lasting symptoms even in non-hospitalised patients was observed at four and seven months post-infection and summarised as post-COVID syndrome (PCS). The continued assessment of patients with PCS will become a major task to define and mitigate the socioeconomic and medical long-term effects of COVID-19.
Keywords:COVID-19, Post-COVID Syndrome, PCS, Long COVID, SARS-CoV-2, Long-Term Health Consequences, Post Infectious Syndrome, Fatigue, Anosmia, Ageusia, Shortness of Breath
Source:The Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Page Range:100122
Date:July 2021
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2021.100122
PubMed:View item in PubMed

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