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US experts: One in three patients has long-term health problems

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The most common symptoms were fatigue (53.1%), shortness of breath (43.4%), joint pain (27.3%) or chest pain (21.7%)

After being treated for Covid-19 disease, at least one in three patients find that their health is affected in the long run, as they experience problems in various organs, as well as psychological effects, according to a study published today.

This article, which is a compilation of various relevant studies that have recently come to light, points out that exhaustion, shortness of breath, anxiety, and depression, as well as symptoms of post-traumatic stress, are the most common problems that patients experience affected by “long Covid”.

According to the researchers, the available data describe an emergency situation, which has been underestimated so far.

Governments, they say, should look for measures to address the problem.

“Given that millions of people are infected with SARS-CoV-2 worldwide, the long-term problems in physical, mental, and emotional health will be in front of us. “We only see the tip of the iceberg,” said Kartik Sehgal, an oncologist, and professor at Harvard Medical School.

Covid-19 mainly affects the lungs and sometimes respiratory problems persist for a long time. But studies show that the virus also attacks other organs, causing complications ranging from cardiovascular problems to chronic inflammation.

The article, published in the journal Nature Medicine, is based on an analysis of nine studies conducted in Europe, the United States, and China.

An Italian study concluded, for example, of the 143 long-term follow-up patients, almost 9 in 10 had at least one symptom and more than 5 in 10 had many, two months after being discharged from the hospital.

The most common symptoms were fatigue (53.1%), shortness of breath (43.4%), joint pain (27.3%), or chest pain (21.7%).

According to three studies in France, Britain, and China, 25-30% of patients reported having trouble sleeping for several weeks after recovering.

About two in 10 (20%) reported hair loss.

Conclusions on mental health are also worrying: of the 402 Italian patients, one month after discharge, 56% were diagnosed with at least one psychiatric problem (30% post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, etc.).

It is very important that we do not forget about the effects on our mental health when looking at physical problems,” said Kartik Sehgal.

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