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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Who Is Most At Risk of Long COVID-19 Repercussions, Answers New Study

Who is more at risk of developing post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)

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Kuldeep Singh
Kuldeep is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. He writes about topics such as Apps, how to, tips and tricks, social network and covers the latest story from the ground. He stands in front of and behind the camera, creates creative product images and much more. Always ready to review new products. Email: kuldeep (at) revyuh (dot) com

It’s been more than a year facing the pandemic, we’re still puzzling out what risks we’re willing to take.

As hundreds of thousands of people becoming infected with Covid-19, a significant minority, according to the research, will develop severe disease, and about 1% will die.

However, people who recover from coronavirus will face persistent symptoms and debility. This incident sequalae, known as “Long Covid”, is encompassing a range of different post-viral complications.

A new research paper, posted as a preprint on the medRxiv, expresses the typical symptoms and signs of this syndrome, with the intention of improving the specificity of detection and reporting.

The study recorded many post-acute stages (post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, PASC) that may last for weeks or even months include tiredness, breathing difficulty, chest pain, and cough; anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among emotional and mental disorders; neurocognitive symptoms such as poor memory and concentration.

Since many previous studies on this syndrome, are based on small numbers of confirmed and often hospitalized-discharged COVID-19 patients, and since they rely on self-reported symptoms and outcomes, they may be subject to some potential biases.

The current study aimed at analyzing newly diagnosed symptoms and conditions in a large number of patients, irrespective of their COVID-19 history, in order to help disentangle those conditions that are truly associated with the acute infection.

The study was retrospective in design, with over 57,000 patients, all of whom had undergone the gold standard reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) test for the virus.

The analysis was performed with the help of a computational model called MLHO that was designed to reveal associations using electronic health records (EHR), and that has been shown to be useful in the evaluation of this condition.

All these symptoms were recorded in the EHR at two or more months from the performance of a COVID-19 test in patients not hospitalized with the infection at any time, and who were still alive, and had two entries in their EHR, six months apart or more, within three years before the test. This was to make sure these patients would probably be captured by the study center.

Of the 57,000 patients, about a fifth of them were positive for the virus (around 11,400).

The findings suggest new symptoms recorded between 3-6 months, and 6-9 months, respectively, following the COVID-19 test, in both patients who tested negative and those with positive results. This yielded 28 positive associations with a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection, in groups varying by age and sex and by time.

Seven of the phenotypes had over 97% confidence for a history of COVID-19.

Between 3-6 months, alopecia was 3.5 times more likely overall, as well as in women under 65 years. In women over 65 years, the odds of alopecia in this period were over four-fold higher. The risk was not increased between 6-9 months.

Non-specific chest pain was also present at a higher frequency between 3-6 months overall, with 35% higher odds but more than 2.5-fold higher odds in the group of women under 65.

Men who were 65 years or more had 1.8-fold higher odds of edema, while those under 65 showed 2.6-fold higher odds of proteinuria, within 3-6 months.

In women aged 65 and over, within 3-6 months, gallstones (three-fold higher odds) and dementias (2.5-fold increase) were observed to be associated with a history of COVID-19, as well as twice the odds of Paget’s disease or other bone conditions, more in men.

In the later time period, nail disease was found to be associated with a history of prior COVID-19 in men 65 years or more.

Similarly, in the later time period, women of 65 or over had twice as high odds of anxiety disorders and dizziness. Those younger than this had two-fold higher odds of menstrual disturbances.

A less strong association was seen with acute-angle glaucoma in men under 65 at 6-9 months after diagnosis, at four-fold the odds.

Altered taste and smell were found to be twice as likely in both time periods, with women under 65 showing 2.5-fold higher odds.

Other less robust associations with previous COVID-19 were seen, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, especially in women and those under 65 years, in both time periods. Patients under 65 also had over two-fold higher odds of conjunctival disorders.

The study concludes that:

“These findings suggest that some of the previously identified post sequelae of COVID-19 may not be accurate and that most of the PASC are observed in patients under 65 years of age.”

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