Fatigue, shortness of breath last a year for many Covid-19 patients, says study

Updated on Aug 27, 2021 09:39 AM IST

The study adds to its earlier research that warned authorities in different nations that they must be prepared to provide long-term support to health workers and patients affected by Covid-19.

A Covid 19 survivor donates plasma for the treatment of infected patients.(PTI)
A Covid 19 survivor donates plasma for the treatment of infected patients.(PTI)
Written by Susmita Pakrasi | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Covid-19 symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath still trouble many patients a year after their hospitalisation for the coronavirus disease, according to a new Chinese study. The study published in the British medical journal The Lancet stated that around half of Covid-19 patients discharged from the hospital still suffer from at least one persistent symptom, most often fatigue or muscle weakness after a year, reports AFP.

The researchers noted that one in three patients still have shortness of breath a year after their diagnosis and the number is even higher in patients who are severely affected by the disease. "With no proven treatments or even rehabilitation guidance, long Covid affects people's ability to resume normal life and their capacity to work. The study shows that for many patients, full recovery from Covid-19 will take more than 1 year," The Lancet said in an editorial published with the study.

The study observed about 1,300 people hospitalised for Covid-19 between January and May 2020 in China's Wuhan, the epicentre of the disease. The share of observed Covid-19 patients with at least one symptom decreased from 68 per cent after six months to 49 per cent after 12 months.

The study found respiratory discomfort increased from 26 per cent of patients after six months to 30 per cent after 12 months. It also found affected women were 43 per cent more likely than affected men to suffer from fatigue or persistent muscle weakness and twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

The study adds to its earlier research that warned authorities in different nations that they must be prepared to provide long-term support to health workers and patients affected by Covid-19. "Long Covid is a modern medical challenge of the first order," the editorial said. It called for more research to understand the condition and better care for patients who suffer from it.

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