Post COVID-19 sequelae: A prospective observational study from Northern India

Drug Discov Ther. 2021 Nov 21;15(5):254-260. doi: 10.5582/ddt.2021.01093. Epub 2021 Oct 30.

Abstract

Post COVID-19 sequelae are a constellation of symptoms often reported after recovering from COVID-19. There is a need to better understand the clinical spectrum and long-term course of this clinical entity. The aim of this study is to describe the clinical features and risk factors of post COVID-19 sequelae in the North Indian population. This prospective observational study was conducted at a tertiary healthcare centre in Northern India between October 2020 and February 2021. Patients aged >18 years with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were recruited after at least two weeks of diagnosis, and details were captured. A total of 1234 patients were recruited and followed up for a median duration of 91 days (IQR: 45-181 days). Among them, 495 (40.1%) had persistent symptoms post-discharge or recovery. In 223 (18.1%) patients, the symptoms resolved within four weeks; 150 (12.1%) patients had symptoms till 12 weeks, and 122 (9.9%) patients had symptoms beyond 12 weeks of diagnosis/symptom-onset of COVID-19. Most common symptoms included myalgia (10.9%), fatigue (5.5%), shortness of breath (6.1%), cough (2.1%), insomnia (1.4%), mood disturbances (0.48%) and anxiety (0.6%). Patients who were hospitalized were more likely to report fatigue as a feature of long COVID. Hypothyroidism (OR: 4.13, 95% CI: 2.2-7.6, p-value < 0.001) and hypoxia (SpO2 ≤ 93%) (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1-2.4, p-value 0.012) were identified as risk factors for long COVID sequelae. In conclusion, long COVID symptoms were common (22%), and 9.9% had the post COVID-19 syndrome. Myalgias, fatigue and dyspnoea were common symptoms. Patients with hypothyroidism and hypoxia during acute illness were at higher risk of long COVID.

Keywords: COVID-19; long COVID; post COVID-19 sequelae; post COVID-19 syndrome.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / complications*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / etiology
  • COVID-19 / pathology
  • Cough / epidemiology
  • Cough / etiology
  • Dyspnea / epidemiology
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Fatigue / epidemiology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myalgia / epidemiology
  • Myalgia / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • post-acute COVID-19 syndrome