While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the researchers found Covid-19 patients tended to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population. The persisting symptoms typically included fatigue, shortness of breath, and sleep difficulties.
At least half of the people who were admitted to a hospital due to Covid-19 suffer from one or more symptoms two years after the infection, according to a study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine on Tuesday, the longest such follow-up study done till date.
The study, based on patients in China where the coronavirus first caused the largest outbreak in early 2020, adds to a growing body of evidence around Long Covid, a set of conditions that continue to persist even after someone has cleared the virus.
“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. Ongoing follow-up of Covid-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long Covid, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programmes for recovery,” said professor Bin Cao of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in China, and the lead author of the study, in a statement.
“There is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who’ve had Covid-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments, and variants affect long-term health outcomes,” the scientist added.
While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the researchers found Covid-19 patients tended to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population. The persisting symptoms typically included one or more of the following: fatigue, shortness of breath, and sleep difficulties.
The authors analysed the long-term health outcomes of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors as well as specific health impacts of Long Covid. The study included 1,192 participants with acute Covid-19 admitted to the Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan between January 7 and May 29, 2020, at six months, 12 months, and two years, according to the study.