"LONG COVID": an insight

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Sep;25(17):5561-5577. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202109_26669.


We aimed this systematic review to analyze and review the currently available published literature related to long COVID, understanding its pattern, and predicting the long-term effects on survivors. We thoroughly searched the databases for relevant articles till May 2021. The research articles that met our inclusion and exclusion criteria were assessed and reviewed by two independent researchers. After preliminary screening of the identified articles through title and abstract, 249 were selected. Consequently, 167 full-text articles were assessed and reviewed based on our inclusion criteria and thus 20 articles were regarded as eligible and analyzed in the present analysis. All the studies included adult population aged between 18 and above 60 years. The median length of hospital stay of the COVID-19 patients during the acute infection phase ranged from 8 days to 17 days. The most common prevalent long-term symptoms in COVID-19 patients included persistent fatigue and dyspnea in almost all of the studies. Other reported common symptoms included: shortness of breath, cough, joint pain, chest pain or tightness, headache, loss of smell/taste, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of memory, depression, anxiety. Associated cardiovascular events included arrhythmias, palpitations and hypotension, increased HR, venous thromboembolic diseases, myocarditis, and acute/decompensated heart failure as well. Among neurological manifestations headache, peripheral neuropathy symptoms, memory issues, concentration, and sleep disorders were most commonly observed with varying frequencies. Mental health issues affecting mental abilities, mood fluctuations namely anxiety and depression, and sleep disorders were commonly seen. Further, diarrhea, vomiting, digestive disorders, and Loss of appetite or weight loss are common gastrointestinal manifestations. Therefore, appropriate clinical evaluation is required in long COVID cases which in turn may help us to identify the risk factors, etiology, and to my help, we treat them early with appropriate management strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome
  • SARS-CoV-2*