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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 14

J Clin Med



Prevalence and Persistence of Symptoms in Adult COVID-19 Survivors 3 and 18 Months after Discharge from Hospital or Corona Hotels.


Kalak G, Jarjou'i A, Bohadana A, Wild P, Rokach A, Amiad N, Abdelrahman N, Arish N, Chen-Shuali C, Izbicki G
J Clin Med. 2022 Dec 14; 11(24).
PMID: 36556030.


COVID-19 is characterized by persistent symptoms beyond acute illness. In this prospective cohort study of patients with COVID-19, we sought to characterize the prevalence and persistence of symptoms up to 18 months after diagnosis. We followed 166 patients and assessed their symptoms during acute illness, and at 3 and 18 months after disease onset. The mean number of symptoms per patient during acute disease was 2.3 (SD:1.2), dropping to 1.8 (SD:1.1) at 3 months after recovery and to 0.6 (SD:0.9) at 18 months after recovery. However, this decrease was not unidirectional. Between acute illness and 3 months, the frequency of symptoms decreased for cough (64.5%→24.7%), ageusia (21.7% to6%), anosmia (17.5%→5.4%), and generalized pain (10.8% to 5.4%) but increased for dyspnea (53%→57.2%) weakness (47%→54.8%), and brain fog (3%→8.4%). Between 3 and 18 months, the frequency of symptoms decreased for all symptoms but remained relatively high for dyspnea (15.8%), weakness (21.2%), and brain fog (7.3%). Symptoms may persist for at least 18 months after acute COVID-19 infection. During the medium- to long-term recovery period, the prevalence of some symptoms may decrease or remain stable, and the prevalence of others may increase before slowly decreasing thereafter. These data should be considered when planning post-acute care for these patients.