SUDRE ET AL, Nature Medicine
The findings in a nutshell
Long COVID is having persistent symptoms lasting longer than at least 28 days following infection. Symptoms that are commonly persistent include fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, and loss of taste.
There is little evidence on the prevalence, risk factors and whether it is possible to predict who may be vulnerable to long COVID.
The researchers analysed the data from an App to track COVID-19 symptoms from positive individuals across the UK, US and Sweden. Results demonstrated that the strongest predictors of long COVID were increasing age and the number of symptoms in the first week.
Overview of the paper
A small proportion of symptomatic COVID-19 patients have reported ongoing and persistent symptoms, the so-called “long COVID”.
Individuals who tested positive to COVID-19 in the UK, US and Sweden were requested to use an App to track their daily symptoms. Throughout their symptoms, the individuals completed daily logs. The authors used the data to investigate whether they could predict individuals at risk of long COVID and what risk factors would make them susceptible.
The results identified two strong predictors of long COVID including increasing age, and the number of symptoms present in the first week of sickness. The symptoms in the first week described were fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, hoarse voice, and muscle aches. Using this model, clinicians could identify individuals who are at risk of long COVID and treat them appropriately.
Implications for Australian workplaces
These results can assist in the early identification of individuals who are at risk of long COVID. It could be useful to identify these individuals within your staff, patients, clients, or community and ensure they are prioritised in treatment or even trials to ensure their health in the long term.
To find out more about Attributes and predictors of long COVID read the full article here.
Date published: April 2021