A prolonged COVID can be worse on the body than previously thought.
Known symptoms of long-term COVID-19 include tiredness, foggy, and long-term loss of smell and taste for some.
However, a new study has found that there is a wide range of symptoms, including hair loss, loss of libido, urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction in men – and some people are more susceptible than others.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham analyzed the health records of nearly 2.4 million people in the UK and found that those who had been infected with COVID-19 reported 63 symptoms more frequently 12 weeks after infection than those who had not. .
In the study, which was published in Nature Medicine, the researchers divided the most common symptoms into three categories: respiratory symptoms, mental health, and cognitive problems. Other common symptoms include loss of smell, shortness of breath, chest pain and fever, nausea and vomiting, fever, bowel incontinence, erectile dysfunction, lack of pleasure (lack of pleasure) and swelling of the extremities.
The study indicates that certain groups of people are more likely to contract COVID for a long time, namely females, young adults and those who belong to one racial, mixed, black or other ethnic group.
The researchers also reported that people from low socioeconomic backgrounds, smokers and people who were overweight or obese or had a wide range of health conditions were associated with persistent COVID symptoms, and finding that biological sex and ethnicity also appeared to play a role.
“The research validates what patients are telling clinicians and policy makers throughout the pandemic,” said Dr Shamil Haroun, associate professor of public health at the University of Birmingham and senior author of the study.
“The long-term symptoms of Covid disease are very broad and cannot be fully explained by other factors such as lifestyle, risk factors or chronic health conditions,” Haroun added.
“The symptoms we identified should help clinicians and developers of clinical guidelines better assess patients with long-term effects from COVID-19, and subsequently consider how to better manage the burden of symptoms.”