He Persistent COVID It is characterized by a set of symptoms that persist long after a person has overcome the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection and in Spain thousands of people live with this condition that significantly interferes with their lives and, in some cases, prevents them from doing their work and other daily activities.
Now, a Spanish study in which 548 people who suffered from COVID-19 have been followed has made it possible to identify medical and socioeconomic factors that are associated with the risk of developing and recovering from persistent COVID, and it has also been proven that during the first two years of illness few recover. The results of the work highlight the importance of preparing health systems so that they can care for all people with persistent COVID.
The study was carried out by the Persistent COVID Unit of the Germans Trias Hospital, the Fight Against Infections Foundation and the AIDS Research Institute IrsiCaixa and the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Catalunya and their results have just been published in The Lancet Regional Health – Europe.
Of all the people in the study with persistent COVID, only 7.6% recovered within the first two years of suffering from the syndrome, and most were in the least symptomatic group.
“It is essential to define and understand this syndrome and its implications to identify prevention, diagnosis and treatment strategies that help affected people. With this objective, and in a pioneering way, we decided to carry out an exhaustive and prolonged follow-up of the patients”, he explains. Lourdes Mateocoordinator of the persistent COVID Unit of the Germans Trias Hospital.
Mateu points out that: “The large number and variety of organs and systems affected by persistent COVID, evidenced by multiple international studies, requires that we work in a multidisciplinary and coordinated manner between hospitals and primary care. This is still a little-known disease, but it is real and has a great impact on the group of patients and on society. It is necessary to combine empathetic clinical care of the highest human quality, with rigorous research that allows us to find better diagnostic tools and effective treatments. It is essential to work in a network, listening and actively involving the people affected”.
Profile of the patient with persistent COVID
The study cohort consists of 548 people who had COVID-19 more than 2 years ago, of whom 207 fully recovered and 341 developed persistent COVID. “This is one of the largest and longest follow-up studies on the clinical evolution of people with persistent COVID carried out to date,” he remarks. Marta Massanellaprincipal researcher at IrsiCaixa.
Thanks to the statistical analysis of these two groups of people, it has been possible to identify, on the one hand, that the men with higher education they are less likely to develop persistent COVID. It has also been found that women, people with a history of autoimmune diseases, or those who experience fatigue, tachycardia, shortness of breath, or neurocognitive and neurosensory disturbances during acute COVID-19 are at higher risk of developing it and less likely to be cured over time. .
Along these lines, an independent study carried out in the United States and recently published in the journal Nature Medicine has shown, in a cohort of more than six million people, that persistent COVID can lead to a higher level of disability than heart disease or cancer.
Very few people have recovered from persistent COVID
The study has also revealed that, of all the people in the study with persistent COVID, only 7.6% have recovered during the first two years of suffering from the syndrome. Of the 26 people who have recovered, the majority (24) belonged to the least symptomatic group. The factors that have been associated with a greater probability of recovery are the male sex, people who had required admission to the ICU due to COVID-19 or who had cardiovascular comorbidities, lack of hunger and taste changes, and smell. He muscle pain, decreased attention, dyspnea or tachycardia These are symptoms that are associated with a lower probability of recovery.
“Las low cure rates for persistent COVID indicate that as long as the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 continues, the cases of people with this condition will continue to accumulate. European health systems, including ours, must face this problem and be prepared to absorb and manage the existing demand for a disease that is very real and continues to grow”, he adds. Roger Paredeshead of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Germans Trias Hospital and principal investigator of IrsiCaixa.
Fuente: IrsiCaixa and Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol