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50 long COVID-19 effects

Experts from Houston Methodist Hospital reveal 50 long-term effects of COVID-19, after scientific research based on approximately 48,000 people.

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

What is long COVID-19 and why is it so important to recognize its severity?

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Research by Houston Methodist Hospital found 50 long-term effects of COVID-19 in 47,910 patients. These symptoms range from mild to debilitating, and last for weeks to months after initial recovery.

The research team led by Dr. Sonia Villapol, professor of neurosurgery at the Houston Methodist Hospital Neuroregeneration Center, included 15 other international studies that met the inclusion criteria in the scientific review. The research was reviewed by scientific peers, analyzing studies carried out in the United States, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, China, Egypt and Mexico.

After a systematic review and meta-analysis of these studies, the prevalence of all symptoms, signs or abnormal laboratory parameters that extended beyond the acute phase of COVID-19 was estimated. They measured several biomarkers, including abnormal chest X-ray or CT scan, risk of blood clots, presence of inflammation, anemia, and indicators of possible heart failure, bacterial infection, and lung damage. They found that 80% of recovered adults had at least one long-term symptom that lasted for weeks or months after acute infection with mild, moderate, or severe COVID-19.

Fifty-five persistent symptoms, signs, and abnormal laboratory results were identified, with most of the persistent effects similar to symptoms developed during the acute phase of COVID-19. By identifying these same lingering effects in several countries, the researchers confirm that long-term COVID-19 is substantial.

The research highlighted:

  • Fatigue (58%)
  • Headache (44%)
  • Attention disorder (27%)
  • Hair loss (25%)
  • Difficulty breathing (24%)
  • Loss of taste (23%)
  • Loss of smell (21%)

Other symptoms of long COVID-19

According to the Houston Methodist Hospital study, these complaints from persistent SARSCov2 disease were associated with lung disease, including cough, chest discomfort, reduced lung diffusing capacity, sleep apnea, and pulmonary fibrosis. Cardiovascular problems such as arrhythmias and myocarditis are also listed; nonspecific symptoms, such as tinnitus and night sweats .

The scientists found a prevalence of neurological symptoms, such as dementia, depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders .

The specialists emphasized the urgency of recognizing these chronic complications, clearly communicating them to the community and defining therapeutic strategies to avoid the long-term consequences of the new coronavirus.