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News > China

Symptoms Last in Half of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

  • Physicians in an intensive care room.

    Physicians in an intensive care room. | Photo: Twitter/ @grbusinaro

Published 12 May 2022

For a certain proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 survivors, more than two years is needed to recover fully from COVID-19.

The longest follow-up study to date on COVID-19 showed that two years after infection, half of the patients who were admitted to the hospital still have at least one symptom.


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The study published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine revealed that nearly 1,200 participants in China tend to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population.

The researchers from China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College and Tsinghua University School of Medicine evaluated the health of 1,192 participants with acute COVID-19 treated at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan between January 7 and May 29, 2020, at six months, 12 months, and two years.

The group, with a median age of 57 at discharge, is assessed for a six-minute walking test, laboratory tests, and questionnaires on symptoms, mental health, health-related quality of life, if they had returned to work, and healthcare use after discharge.

Six months after initially falling ill, 68 percent of them reported at least one symptom, and by two years after infection, 55 percent of them reported symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, sleep difficulties, joint pain, palpitations, dizziness, headaches, anxiety or depression.

"Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from COVID-19," said Cao Bing.

The authors admitted the limitations including the fact that those who did not participate in the study might have fewer symptoms than those who did, which may result in an overestimate of the prevalence of long COVID symptoms. But there is a "clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who have had COVID-19," said Cao.


Cao Bing
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