Background: A proportion of patients’ ailments may last after recovering from acute COVID-19, with episodic and systemic symptoms of unclear etiology potentially involving different organs. Study aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the persistence of symptoms 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis in patients referring to the post-COVID-19 clinic in Trieste (north-eastern Italy). Methods: Two-hundred-forty-seven patients were medically examined between 8 December 2020–6 April 2021, after a median time of 49 days since first positive swab test for SARS-CoV-2. After a median time of 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis, the same patients were contacted over the phone and investigated by standardized questionnaire collecting information on any persisting symptoms and work ability index (WAI). Four multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to investigate factors associated with persistence of any respiratory, neurological, dysautonomic, or psychiatric symptoms at first (median time 49 days since COVID-19 diagnosis) as well as second (median 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis) follow up. A multiple linear regression was also employed to investigate factors associated with higher mean WAI, assessed only at second follow up. Additionally, factors associated with persistence of symptoms 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis between first and second follow-up were investigated by multivariable Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE). Results: At first follow up (median time of 49 days since COVID-19 diagnosis) symptoms more frequently reported were fatigue (80.2%), shortness of breath (69.6%), concentration deficit (44.9%), headache (44.9%), myalgia (44.1%), arthralgia (43.3%), and anosmia (42.1%). At second follow-up (median time of 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis) 75% patients returned to their baseline status preceding COVID-19. At first follow up males were less likely to experience neurological (OR = 0.16; 95% CI: 0.08; 0.35) as well as psychiatric (OR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.23; 0.80) symptoms as compared to females. At first follow up, the risk of neurological symptoms increased also linearly with age (OR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.01; 1.08) and pre-existing depression was a major risk factor for persisting dysautonomic (aOR = 6.35; 95% CI: 2.01; 20.11) as well as psychiatric symptoms (omitted estimate). Consistently, at second follow up only females experience psychiatric symptoms, whereas males exhibited significantly higher mean WAI (RC = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.11; 0.88). Additionally, neurological symptoms at second follow up were more likely in patients with pre-existing comorbidities (OR = 4.31; 95% CI: 1.27; 14.7). Finally, persistence of symptoms lasting 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis increased linearly with age (OR = 1.03; 95% CI 1.01–1.05) and were more likely in patients affected by pre-existing depression (OR = 2.68; 95% CI 1.60; 4.49). Conclusions: Following a median time of 15 months since first positive swab test, 75% patients with symptoms returned to their baseline health status preceding COVID-19. Females had a significantly lower WAI and were more likely to experience psychiatric symptoms at second follow up (15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis). Furthermore, the risk of symptoms persisting 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis increased with history of depression, endorsing the hypothesis that long-COVID-19 symptoms may be at least partially explained by pre-existing psychological conditions. Patient rehabilitation and psychological support may therefore play a key role in caring patients with the so called long COVID-19 syndrome.

Persistence of Symptoms 15 Months since COVID-19 Diagnosis: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Residual Work Ability

Sansone, Donatella
Data Curation
;
Tassinari, Alice
Data Curation
;
Ronchese, Federico
Resources
;
Centonze, Sandro
Resources
;
Maggiore, Adele;Cegolon, Luca
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Larese Filon, Francesca
2023-01-01

Abstract

Background: A proportion of patients’ ailments may last after recovering from acute COVID-19, with episodic and systemic symptoms of unclear etiology potentially involving different organs. Study aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the persistence of symptoms 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis in patients referring to the post-COVID-19 clinic in Trieste (north-eastern Italy). Methods: Two-hundred-forty-seven patients were medically examined between 8 December 2020–6 April 2021, after a median time of 49 days since first positive swab test for SARS-CoV-2. After a median time of 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis, the same patients were contacted over the phone and investigated by standardized questionnaire collecting information on any persisting symptoms and work ability index (WAI). Four multivariable logistic regression models were fitted to investigate factors associated with persistence of any respiratory, neurological, dysautonomic, or psychiatric symptoms at first (median time 49 days since COVID-19 diagnosis) as well as second (median 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis) follow up. A multiple linear regression was also employed to investigate factors associated with higher mean WAI, assessed only at second follow up. Additionally, factors associated with persistence of symptoms 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis between first and second follow-up were investigated by multivariable Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE). Results: At first follow up (median time of 49 days since COVID-19 diagnosis) symptoms more frequently reported were fatigue (80.2%), shortness of breath (69.6%), concentration deficit (44.9%), headache (44.9%), myalgia (44.1%), arthralgia (43.3%), and anosmia (42.1%). At second follow-up (median time of 15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis) 75% patients returned to their baseline status preceding COVID-19. At first follow up males were less likely to experience neurological (OR = 0.16; 95% CI: 0.08; 0.35) as well as psychiatric (OR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.23; 0.80) symptoms as compared to females. At first follow up, the risk of neurological symptoms increased also linearly with age (OR = 1.04; 95% CI: 1.01; 1.08) and pre-existing depression was a major risk factor for persisting dysautonomic (aOR = 6.35; 95% CI: 2.01; 20.11) as well as psychiatric symptoms (omitted estimate). Consistently, at second follow up only females experience psychiatric symptoms, whereas males exhibited significantly higher mean WAI (RC = 0.50; 95% CI: 0.11; 0.88). Additionally, neurological symptoms at second follow up were more likely in patients with pre-existing comorbidities (OR = 4.31; 95% CI: 1.27; 14.7). Finally, persistence of symptoms lasting 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis increased linearly with age (OR = 1.03; 95% CI 1.01–1.05) and were more likely in patients affected by pre-existing depression (OR = 2.68; 95% CI 1.60; 4.49). Conclusions: Following a median time of 15 months since first positive swab test, 75% patients with symptoms returned to their baseline health status preceding COVID-19. Females had a significantly lower WAI and were more likely to experience psychiatric symptoms at second follow up (15 months since COVID-19 diagnosis). Furthermore, the risk of symptoms persisting 200+ days since COVID-19 diagnosis increased with history of depression, endorsing the hypothesis that long-COVID-19 symptoms may be at least partially explained by pre-existing psychological conditions. Patient rehabilitation and psychological support may therefore play a key role in caring patients with the so called long COVID-19 syndrome.
2023
29-dic-2022
Pubblicato
https://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/13/1/97
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9862952/
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3037879
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