A new study brings more insight into the symptoms of high blood pressure long COVIDthe set of post-infection conditions that can persist for months or years after a person has COVID-19.
Funded by the National Institutes of Health and published Thursday in the medical journal JAMA, the study identified the 12 most common symptoms associated with long COVID with the aim of helping researchers develop much-needed treatment options.
“This study is an important step toward defining long COVID beyond any individual symptom,” study author Dr. Leora Horwitz, director of the Center for Healthcare Innovation and Delivery Science and co-principal investigator for the RECOVER Clinical Science Core at NYU Langone Health, said a press release. “This approach – which may evolve over time – will serve as the basis for scientific discoveries and treatment designs.”
After examining data from 9,764 adults, including 8,646 who had COVID-19 and 1,118 who didn’t, researchers identified the 12 symptoms that most differentiate those with long-term COVID. The symptoms are:
- post-exertional malaise (debilitating fatigue that gets worse after physical or mental activity)
- brain fog
- gastrointestinal symptoms
- problems with sexual desire or ability
- loss of smell or taste
- chronic cough
- abnormal movements
A range of other symptoms were reported by smaller numbers of patients, with the study finding that 37 symptoms were more prevalent at 6 months in those who had been infected with COVID than in those who had not been infected.
According to the press release, more than 100 million Americans are infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. experiencing long-term COVID symptoms.
“Americans living with COVID for a long time want to understand what is happening to their bodies,” said Dr. Rachel L. Levine, assistant secretary of health, in the release.
The study found that long-term COVID — also known as Post-Acute Sequelae or SARS-CoV-2 infection, or PASC — was more common and severe in study participants who had 2021 Omicron variantgoods unvaccinatedand those who have experienced re-infestation.
Previous research has shown that even people whose The first bout with COVID-19 was mild may continue to develop long COVID.
The study authors call their findings a “first step” toward identifying cases of the condition, and say they hope it “serves as a starting point” for further research.