HealthDay News — Most long COVID symptoms will resolve following mild infection within a year, according to an Israeli study published online Jan. 11 in The BMJ.
Barak Mizrahi, from KI Research Institute in Kfar Malal, Israel, and colleagues examined the clinical sequelae of long COVID for a year after infection in patients with mild disease. Analysis included 1.9 million individuals with a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction test result between March 1, 2020, and Oct. 1, 2021.
The researchers found that COVID-19 was significantly associated with increased risks in early and late periods for anosmia and dysgeusia (hazard ratio, 4.59), cognitive impairment (hazard ratio, 1.85), dyspnea (hazard ratio, 1.79), weakness (hazard ratio, 1.78), and palpitations (hazard ratio, 1.49). There was also significant but lower excess risk seen for streptococcal tonsillitis and dizziness. In the early phase (30 to 180 days), hair loss, chest pain, cough, myalgia, and respiratory disorders were significantly increased. In the early phase, male and female patients showed minor differences, while children had fewer outcomes than adults, which mostly resolved in the late period (180 to 360 days). Across SARS-CoV-2 variants, findings remained consistent. Compared to unvaccinated infected individuals, vaccinated patients with a breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infection had a lower risk for dyspnea and similar risk for other outcomes.
“This nationwide study suggests that patients with mild COVID-19 are at risk for a small number of health outcomes, most of which are resolved within a year from diagnosis,” the authors write.