Objectives: To describe the prevalence, nature and risk factors for the main clinical sequelae in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survivors who have been discharged from the hospital for more than 3 months.
Methods: This longitudinal study was based on a telephone follow-up survey of COVID-19 patients hospitalized and discharged from Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China before 1 March 2020. Demographic and clinical characteristics and self-reported clinical sequelae of the survivors were described and analysed. A cohort of volunteers who were free of COVID-19 and lived in the urban area of Wuhan during the outbreak were also selected as the comparison group.
Results: Among 538 survivors (293, 54.5% female), the median (interquartile range) age was 52.0 (41.0-62.0) years, and the time from discharge from hospital to first follow-up was 97.0 (95.0-102.0) days. Clinical sequelae were common, including general symptoms (n = 267, 49.6%), respiratory symptoms (n = 210, 39%), cardiovascular-related symptoms (n = 70, 13%), psychosocial symptoms (n = 122, 22.7%) and alopecia (n = 154, 28.6%). We found that physical decline/fatigue (p < 0.01), postactivity polypnoea (p= 0.04) and alopecia (p < 0.01) were more common in female than in male subjects. Dyspnoea during hospitalization was associated with subsequent physical decline/fatigue, postactivity polypnoea and resting heart rate increases but not specifically with alopecia. A history of asthma during hospitalization was associated with subsequent postactivity polypnoea sequela. A history of pulse ≥90 bpm during hospitalization was associated with resting heart rate increase in convalescence. The duration of virus shedding after COVID-19 onset and hospital length of stay were longer in survivors with physical decline/fatigue or postactivity polypnoea than in those without.
Conclusions: Clinical sequelae during early COVID-19 convalescence were common; some of these sequelae might be related to gender, age and clinical characteristics during hospitalization.
Keywords: COVID-19; Clinical sequelae; Early recovery; SARS-CoV-2; Survivors.
Copyright © 2020 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.