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04 Dec 2023 at 01:45
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Bibliography on: Long Covid


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 04 Dec 2023 at 01:45 Created: 

Long Covid

Wikipedia: Long Covid refers to a group of health problems persisting or developing after an initial COVID-19 infection. Symptoms can last weeks, months or years and are often debilitating. Long COVID is characterised by a large number of symptoms, which sometimes disappear and reappear. Commonly reported symptoms of long COVID are fatigue, memory problems, shortness of breath, and sleep disorder. Many other symptoms can also be present, including headaches, loss of smell or taste, muscle weakness, fever, and cognitive dysfunction and problems with mental health. Symptoms often get worse after mental or physical effort, a process called post-exertional malaise. The causes of long COVID are not yet fully understood. Hypotheses include lasting damage to organs and blood vessels, problems with blood clotting, neurological dysfunction, persistent virus or a reactivation of latent viruses and autoimmunity. Diagnosis of long COVID is based on suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection, symptoms and by excluding alternative diagnoses. Estimates of the prevalence of long COVID vary based on definition, population studied, time period studied, and methodology, generally ranging between 5% and 50%. Prevalence is less after vaccination.

Created with PubMed® Query: ( "long covid" ) NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-12-01

Turk F, Sweetman J, Allsopp G, et al (2023)

Pathways to care for Long COVID and for long-term conditions from patients' and clinicians' perspective.

RevDate: 2023-12-03

Datta BK, Coughlin SS, Fazlul I, et al (2023)

COVID-19 and health care-related financial toxicity in the United States: Evidence from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey.

American journal of infection control pii:S0196-6553(23)00783-6 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Despite the common perception of the socioeconomic burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, quantification of the relationship between COVID-19 and indicators of health care-related financial toxicity in the general population has been limited. This study aimed to provide estimates of these relationships in a nationally representative sample of the US adult population.

METHODS: Using the data on 27,480 adults from the 2022 National Health Interview Survey, we fitted multivariable logistic regression models to assess the differential risks of financial toxicity as manifested by the financial hardship in paying medical bills, delayed and forgone medical care, and medication nonadherence, by COVID-19 diagnosis, severity, and duration of symptoms.

RESULTS: We found that compared to individuals not having COVID-19, individuals with severe symptoms of COVID-19 were 1.86, 1.50, 1.76, and 1.77 times more likely to experience financial hardship, delay medical care, forgo medical care, and skip/delay/take less medication, respectively. Similarly, individuals with symptoms lasting for 3 or more months were 1.94, 1.65, 1.87, and 2.20 times more likely to experience these measures of financial toxicity, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The estimates of the relationship between COVID-19 and financial toxicity will facilitate effective communications for policy actions aimed at alleviating the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Lewis S (2023)

The long COVID haul.

Nature reviews. Neuroscience [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Hastie CE, Lowe DJ, McAuley A, et al (2023)

True prevalence of long-COVID in a nationwide, population cohort study.

Nature communications, 14(1):7892.

Long-COVID prevalence estimates vary widely and should take account of symptoms that would have occurred anyway. Here we determine the prevalence of symptoms attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infection, taking account of background rates and confounding, in a nationwide population cohort study of 198,096 Scottish adults. 98,666 (49.8%) had symptomatic laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infections and 99,430 (50.2%) were age-, sex-, and socioeconomically-matched and never-infected. While 41,775 (64.5%) reported at least one symptom 6 months following SARS-CoV-2 infection, this was also true of 34,600 (50.8%) of those never-infected. The crude prevalence of one or more symptom attributable to SARS-CoV-2 infection was 13.8% (13.2%,14.3%), 12.8% (11.9%,13.6%), and 16.3% (14.4%,18.2%) at 6, 12, and 18 months respectively. Following adjustment for potential confounders, these figures were 6.6% (6.3%, 6.9%), 6.5% (6.0%, 6.9%) and 10.4% (9.1%, 11.6%) respectively. Long-COVID is characterised by a wide range of symptoms that, apart from altered taste and smell, are non-specific. Care should be taken in attributing symptoms to previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Besteher B, Rocktäschel T, Garza AP, et al (2023)

Cortical thickness alterations and systemic inflammation define long-COVID patients with cognitive impairment.

Brain, behavior, and immunity pii:S0889-1591(23)00363-X [Epub ahead of print].

As the heterogeneity of symptoms is increasingly recognized among long-COVID patients, it appears highly relevant to study potential pathophysiological differences along the different subtypes. Preliminary evidence suggests distinct alterations in brain structure and systemic inflammatory patterns in specific groups of long-COVID patients. To this end, we analyzed differences in cortical thickness and peripheral immune signature between clinical subgroups based on 3 T-MRI scans and signature inflammatory markers in n = 120 participants comprising healthy never-infected controls (n = 30), healthy COVID-19 survivors (n = 29), and subgroups of long-COVID patients with (n = 26) and without (n = 35) cognitive impairment according to screening with Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Whole-brain comparison of cortical thickness between the 4 groups was conducted by surface-based morphometry. We identified distinct cortical areas showing a progressive increase in cortical thickness across different groups, starting from healthy individuals who had never been infected with COVID-19, followed by healthy COVID-19 survivors, long-COVID patients without cognitive deficits (MoCA ≥ 26), and finally, long-COVID patients exhibiting significant cognitive deficits (MoCA < 26). These findings highlight the continuum of cortical thickness alterations associated with COVID-19, with more pronounced changes observed in individuals experiencing cognitive impairment (p < 0.05, FWE-corrected). Affected cortical regions covered prefrontal and temporal gyri, insula, posterior cingulate, parahippocampal gyrus, and parietal areas. Additionally, we discovered a distinct immunophenotype, with elevated levels of IL-10, IFNγ, and sTREM2 in long-COVID patients, especially in the group suffering from cognitive impairment. We demonstrate lingering cortical and immunological alterations in healthy and impaired subgroups of COVID-19 survivors. This implies a complex underlying pathomechanism in long-COVID and emphasizes the necessity to investigate the whole spectrum of post-COVID biology to determine targeted treatment strategies targeting specific sub-groups.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Wu F, Lin C, Han Y, et al (2023)

Multi-omic analysis characterizes molecular susceptibility of receptors to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 21:5583-5600 pii:S2001-0370(23)00427-0.

In the post COVID-19 era, new SARS-CoV-2 variant strains may continue emerging and long COVID is poised to be another public health challenge. Deciphering the molecular susceptibility of receptors to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is critical for understanding the immune responses in COVID-19 and the rationale of multi-organ injuries. Currently, such systematic exploration remains limited. Here, we conduct multi-omic analysis of protein binding affinities, transcriptomic expressions, and single-cell atlases to characterize the molecular susceptibility of receptors to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Initial affinity analysis explains the domination of delta and omicron variants and demonstrates the strongest affinities between BSG (CD147) receptor and most variants. Further transcriptomic data analysis on 4100 experimental samples and single-cell atlases of 1.4 million cells suggest the potential involvement of BSG in multi-organ injuries and long COVID, and explain the high prevalence of COVID-19 in elders as well as the different risks for patients with underlying diseases. Correlation analysis validated moderate associations between BSG and viral RNA abundance in multiple cell types. Moreover, similar patterns were observed in primates and validated in proteomic expressions. Overall, our findings implicate important therapeutic targets for the development of receptor-specific vaccines and drugs for COVID-19.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Kim SE (2023)

Long COVID Researchers Are on the Hunt for Causes and Cures.

ACS central science, 9(11):1996-2001.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Kim SA, Lee JS, Kim T, et al (2023)

Efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment for fatigue after COVID-19 infection: study protocol for a pilot randomized sham-controlled trial.

Frontiers in neurology, 14:1302793.

BACKGROUND: As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has spread globally, its sequelae, called Long COVID, have persisted, troubling patients worldwide. Although fatigue is known to be the most frequent among Long COVID symptoms, its mechanism and treatment have not been clearly demonstrated. In 2022, we conducted a preliminary prospective case series and found that acupuncture and moxibustion were feasible interventions for fatigue. This study is a pilot patient-assessor-blinded randomized sham-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment for patients with fatigue that has persisted for at least 4 weeks after recovery from COVID-19.

METHODS: Thirty patients will be recruited and randomly assigned to either the acupuncture or sham acupuncture treatment groups. Treatment will be conducted thrice a week for both groups during 4 weeks. The primary outcome will be the efficacy and safety of acupuncture, including numeric rating scale (NRS), brief fatigue inventory (BFI), fatigue severity scale (FSS), and adverse event evaluation. Secondary outcomes will be evaluation of improvement in the comorbid symptoms of fatigue and feasibility variables. Outcome variables will be assessed before treatment, 4 weeks after treatment, and 8 weeks after treatment completion.

DISCUSSION: The results of this study will be used to clarify the efficacy and safety of acupuncture treatment for persistent fatigue in patients with Long COVID. Additionally, the feasibility of the study design was validated to provide evidence for future full-scale randomized controlled trials.Clinical trial registration: identifier: KCT0008656 https://cris.nih.go.kr/cris/search/detailSearch.do?seq=24785&search_page=L.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Avula N, Kakach D, Tignanelli CJ, et al (2023)

Strategies used for the COVID-OUT decentralized trial of outpatient treatment of SARS-CoV-2.

Journal of clinical and translational science, 7(1):e242 pii:S2059866123006684.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the development of decentralized clinical trials (DCT). DCT's are an important and pragmatic method for assessing health outcomes yet comprise only a minority of clinical trials, and few published methodologies exist. In this report, we detail the operational components of COVID-OUT, a decentralized, multicenter, quadruple-blinded, randomized trial that rapidly delivered study drugs nation-wide. The trial examined three medications (metformin, ivermectin, and fluvoxamine) as outpatient treatment of SARS-CoV-2 for their effectiveness in preventing severe or long COVID-19. Decentralized strategies included HIPAA-compliant electronic screening and consenting, prepacking investigational product to accelerate delivery after randomization, and remotely confirming participant-reported outcomes. Of the 1417 individuals with the intention-to-treat sample, the remote nature of the study caused an additional 94 participants to not take any doses of study drug. Therefore, 1323 participants were in the modified intention-to-treat sample, which was the a priori primary study sample. Only 1.4% of participants were lost to follow-up. Decentralized strategies facilitated the successful completion of the COVID-OUT trial without any in-person contact by expediting intervention delivery, expanding trial access geographically, limiting contagion exposure, and making it easy for participants to complete follow-up visits. Remotely completed consent and follow-up facilitated enrollment.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Bellone S, Siegel EE, AD Santin (2023)

Increased serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels in gynecologic cancer patients with Post-Acute-Covid-Sequela (PASC)/Long COVID.

Gynecologic oncology reports, 50:101301.

Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC), also known as Long-Covid (LC), may affect 10-30 % of COVID-infected patients, and is characterized by a variety of debilitating symptoms lasting over 3 months after the acute infection, including but not limited to dyspnea, fatigue, and musculoskeletal, cognitive, and/or mental health impairments. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient primarily recognized for its role in regulating calcium and bone health but also endowed with potent anti-inflammatory activity affecting a variety of immune cells. We retrospectively evaluated the plasmatic levels of both 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D (1,25 OH), and 25-hydroxyvitamin-D (25 OH), the active and storage forms of vitamin-D3, respectively, in the serum of gynecologic cancer patients affected by PASC/LC vs control cancer patients. We found elevated 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D levels in 5 out of 5 of the PASC/LC patients (mean ± SD = 97.2 ± 26.9 pg/mL) versus 0 out of 10 of randomly selected cancer control patients (44.9 ± 17.2 pg/mL, p = 0.0005). In contrast, no significant difference was noted in the levels of 25-dihydroxyvitamin-D in PASC/LC (mean ± SD = 48.2 ± 15.8 ng/mL) versus controls (43.0 ± 11.6 ng/mL, p = 0.48). Importantly, abnormal levels of vitamin D were found to persist for at least 2 years in patients with long covid symptoms. The active form (1,25OH) but not the storage form (25 OH) of vitamin-D is significantly elevated in PASC/LC cancer patients. Abnormally and persistently elevated 1,25OH levels, similarly to sarcoidosis patients, may represent the results of extrarenal conversion of vitamin D by activated macrophages, and a novel biomarker of persistent inflammation in gynecologic cancer patients with PASC/LC.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Marra AR, Kobayashi T, Callado GY, et al (2023)

The effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine in the prevention of post-COVID conditions: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis of the latest research.

Antimicrobial stewardship & healthcare epidemiology : ASHE, 3(1):e168.

OBJECTIVE: We performed a systematic literature review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination against post-COVID conditions (long COVID) among fully vaccinated individuals.

DESIGN: Systematic literature review/meta-analysis.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Scopus, and Web of Science from December 1, 2019, to June 2, 2023, for studies evaluating the COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) against post-COVID conditions among fully vaccinated individuals who received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. A post-COVID condition was defined as any symptom that was present four or more weeks after COVID-19 infection. We calculated the pooled diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) (95% confidence interval) for post-COVID conditions between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Vaccine effectiveness was estimated as 100% x (1-DOR).

RESULTS: Thirty-two studies with 775,931 individuals evaluated the effect of vaccination on post-COVID conditions, of which, twenty-four studies were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled DOR for post-COVID conditions among fully vaccinated individuals was 0.680 (95% CI: 0.523-0.885) with an estimated VE of 32.0% (11.5%-47.7%). Vaccine effectiveness was 36.9% (23.1%-48.2%) among those who received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine before COVID-19 infection and 68.7% (64.7%-72.2%) among those who received three doses before COVID-19 infection. The stratified analysis demonstrated no protection against post-COVID conditions among those who received COVID-19 vaccination after COVID-19 infection.

CONCLUSIONS: Receiving a complete COVID-19 vaccination prior to contracting the virus resulted in a significant reduction in post-COVID conditions throughout the study period, including during the Omicron era. Vaccine effectiveness demonstrated an increase when supplementary doses were administered.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Kotarba JA, Molldrem S, Smith E, et al (2023)

Exploring team dynamics during the development of a multi-institutional cross-disciplinary translational team: Implications for potential best practices.

Journal of clinical and translational science, 7(1):e220.

INTRODUCTION: A recent literature review revealed no studies that explored teams that used an explicit theoretical framework for multiteam systems in academic settings, such as the increasingly important multi-institutional cross-disciplinary translational team (MCTT) form. We conducted an exploratory 30-interview grounded theory study over two rounds to analyze participants' experiences from three universities who assembled an MCTT in order to pursue a complex grant proposal related to research on post-acute sequelae of COVID-19, also called "long COVID." This article considers activities beginning with preliminary discussions among principal investigators through grant writing and submission, and completion of reviews by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which resulted in the proposal not being scored.

METHODS: There were two stages to this interview study with MCTT members: pre-submission, and post-decision. Round one focused on the process of developing structures to collaborate on proposal writing and assembly, whereas round two focused on evaluation of the complete process. A total of 15 participants agreed to be interviewed in each round.

FINDINGS: The first round of interviews was conducted prior to submission and explored issues during proposal writing, including (1) importance of the topic; (2) meaning and perception of "team" within the MCTT context; and (3) leadership at different levels of the team. The second round explored best practices-related issues including (1) leadership and design; (2) specific proposal assembly tasks; (3) communication; and (4) critical events.

CONCLUSION: We conclude with suggestions for developing best practices for assembling MCTTs involving multi-institutional teams.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Dulko D, Kwong M, Palm ME, et al (2023)

From a decentralized clinical trial to a decentralized and clinical-trial-in-a-box platform: Towards patient-centric and equitable trials.

Journal of clinical and translational science, 7(1):e236 pii:S2059866123006295.

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Despite the intuitive attractiveness of bringing research to participants rather than making them come to central study sites, widespread decentralized enrollment has not been common in clinical trials.

METHODS: The need for clinical research in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with innovations in technology, led us to use a decentralized trial approach in our Phase 2 COVID-19 trial. We used real-time acquisition and transmission of health-related data using home-based monitoring devices and mobile applications to assess outcomes. This approach not only avoids spreading COVID-19 but it also can support inclusion of participants in more diverse socioeconomic circumstances and in rural settings.

RESULTS: Our team developed and deployed a decentralized trial platform to support patient engagement and adverse event reporting. Clinicians, engineers, and informaticians on our research team developed a Clinical-Trial-in-a-Box tool to optimally collect and analyze data from multiple decentralized platforms.

CONCLUSION: Applying the decentralized model in Long COVID, using digital health technology and personal devices integrated with our telehealth platform, we share the lessons learned from our work, along with challenges and future possibilities.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Stewart DD (2023)

Can Nitazoxanide and/or other anti-viral medications be a solution to long COVID? Case report with a brief literature review.

Clinical case reports, 11(11):e8162 pii:CCR38162.

KEY CLINICAL MESSAGE: Findings here imply lingering of virus, SARS-CoV-2, in the body for months. Thus, Nitazoxanide and/or other anti-viral medications might be potential options to combat long COVID. This could transform treatment for long COVID patients globally.

ABSTRACT: Long COVID or post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) continues to affect many people even after a relatively mild acute illness. Underlying causes of PASC are poorly understood. There is no particular treatment or management program developed yet. Thus, the possibility of well-known, safe anti-viral medications use against PASC is proposed here.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Grabowska AD, Westermeier F, Nacul L, et al (2023)

The importance of estimating prevalence of ME/CFS in future epidemiological studies of long COVID.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1275827.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Frontiers Editorial Office (2023)

Retraction: Post-acute (long) COVID-19 quality of life: validation of the German version of (PAC19QoL) instrument.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1308285.

[This retracts the article DOI: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1163360.].

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Ahmad I, Merla A, Ali F, et al (2023)

A deep transfer learning approach for COVID-19 detection and exploring a sense of belonging with Diabetes.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1308404.

COVID-19 is an epidemic disease that results in death and significantly affects the older adult and those afflicted with chronic medical conditions. Diabetes medication and high blood glucose levels are significant predictors of COVID-19-related death or disease severity. Diabetic individuals, particularly those with preexisting comorbidities or geriatric patients, are at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection, including hospitalization, ICU admission, and death, than those without Diabetes. Everyone's lives have been significantly changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Identifying patients infected with COVID-19 in a timely manner is critical to overcoming this challenge. The Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) diagnostic assay is currently the gold standard for COVID-19 detection. However, RT-PCR is a time-consuming and costly technique requiring a lab kit that is difficult to get in crises and epidemics. This work suggests the CIDICXR-Net50 model, a ResNet-50-based Transfer Learning (TL) method for COVID-19 detection via Chest X-ray (CXR) image classification. The presented model is developed by substituting the final ResNet-50 classifier layer with a new classification head. The model is trained on 3,923 chest X-ray images comprising a substantial dataset of 1,360 viral pneumonia, 1,363 normal, and 1,200 COVID-19 CXR images. The proposed model's performance is evaluated in contrast to the results of six other innovative pre-trained models. The proposed CIDICXR-Net50 model attained 99.11% accuracy on the provided dataset while maintaining 99.15% precision and recall. This study also explores potential relationships between COVID-19 and Diabetes.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Wang JJ, Zhang QF, Liu D, et al (2023)

Self-Reported Neurological Symptoms Two Years After Hospital Discharge Among COVID-19 Survivors.

Journal of Alzheimer's disease reports, 7(1):1127-1132 pii:ADR230078.

BACKGROUND: The acute stage of COVID-19 often presents with neurological manifestations.

OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the long-term neurological effects on survivors.

METHODS: This study recruited 1,546 COVID-19 survivors from Wuhan, including 1,119 nonsevere cases and 427 severe survivors. Participants were interviewed two years after discharge to report their neurological symptoms. The neurological symptoms of COVID-19 were compared between survivors of severe and nonsevere COVID-19.

RESULTS: Among the 1,546 COVID-19 survivors, 44.24% discovered at least one neurological symptom. The most prevalent self-reported symptom was fatigue (28.33%), memory deficit (13.26%), attention deficit (9.96%), myalgia (8.34%), dizziness (3.82%), and headache (2.52%). Severe cases had higher incidences of fatigue, myalgia, memory deficit, attention deficit than nonsevere cases. Older age, severe COVID-19, and comorbidity burden were associated with long-term neurological symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Neurological symptoms are common among COVID-19 survivors, especially in severe cases.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Perea-Flórez F, Javier-Murillo N, Lapeyre-Rivera A, et al (2023)

Prevalence and incidence of neuropsychiatric disorders in post hospitalized COVID-19 patients in South America: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Frontiers in psychiatry, 14:1163989.

INTRODUCTION: There are multiple reports of neuropsychiatric disorders (NDs) such as stress, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or anxiety, in patients who have survived the acute phase of COVID-19, being even more frequent in people who were hospitalized with moderate or severe disease. South America (SA) was one of the most affected continents during this time due to its health, social, political and economic context. We aimed to determine the prevalence and incidence of NDs in patients following hospitalization for COVID-19 in SA.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched in PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, LILACS, SciELO, and Google Scholar databases up to October 2022. We performed proportion meta-analysis with a random-effect model and Freeman-Tukey Double Arcsine transformation using the STATA 16.1 program. Finally, we evaluated heterogeneity by subgroup analysis and certainty of evidence with the GRADE approach.

RESULTS: We included eight studies from four countries. We only pooled six studies with prevalence measures. The estimated prevalence of all NDs was 31.48% (two-studies, 95%CI: 25.82-37.43). Depression, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, and memory alterations had a pooled prevalence of 16.23% (three-studies, 95%CI: 7.18-27.93, I2: 94.22), 18.72% (three-studies, 95%CI: 11.65-26.97, I2: 87.56), 43.07% (three-studies, 95%CI: 32.77-53.37, I2: 92.61), 31.78% (three-studies, 95%CI: 14.33-52.40, I2: 97.96), and 38.24% (two-studies, 95%CI: 35.5-40.97), respectively. The evidence included was deemed as moderate to high certainty.

CONCLUSION: We suggest that NDs should be prioritized in research and care in South America with public policies that can support their identification and prompt management to improve the quality of life of patients. More studies are needed to adequately study the prevalence of NDs in South America, their associated factors, and evaluate the causes of heterogeneity.


RevDate: 2023-11-29

Fonseca BHS, de Andrade PHS, Henrique MESA, et al (2023)

Perception of verticality in the post-COVID-19 condition correlates to infection severity.

Journal of central nervous system disease, 15:11795735231195693 pii:10.1177_11795735231195693.

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 infection affects multiple systems, including musculoskeletal, neurological, and respiratory systems. Changes associated with physical inactivity due to prolonged hospitalization can affect the functional capacity of individuals with long coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) or post-COVID-19 condition and may cause changes in some postural control functions, such as verticality.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate the perception of verticality in individuals with long COVID.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

METHODS: This study included 60 participants with post-COVID-19 condition divided into 2 groups: hospitalized group (n = 24), those hospitalized owing to SARS-CoV-2 infection; and non-hospitalized group (n = 36), those infected with SARS-CoV-2 but not hospitalized. All participants were examined using a post-COVID-19 functional status (PCFS), sit-to-stand test, grip strength assessment, painful and tactile sensory assessments, visual acuity assessment, and vestibular assessment. Verticality perception was evaluated using the subjective visual vertical (SVV) and subjective haptic vertical (SHV) tests. In both tests, the absolute values (positive values only) and true values (positive and negative values) were considered. To verify potential confounders that could influence the verticality of the results, logistic regression models were used for categorical variables and multiple linear regressions were used for continuous variables. For analysis between groups, the independent samples test (Mann-Whitney U test) was used.

RESULTS: There were no confounders between clinical variables and verticality in either group. There was a significant increase in absolute SVV (mean deviation [MD]: 2.83; P < .0001) and true SVV (MD: -4.18; P = .005) in the hospitalized group compared to the non-hospitalized group. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in the true SHV (MD: -3.6; P = .026) in the hospitalized group compared to that in the non-hospitalized group.

CONCLUSION: Less accurate visual and haptic verticality perception task performance was observed in hospitalized patients with post-COVID-19 condition.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Grundler F, Mesnage R, Cerrada A, et al (2023)

Improvements during long-term fasting in patients with long COVID - a case series and literature review.

Frontiers in nutrition, 10:1195270.

BACKGROUND: Post-acute sequelae of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, also known as long COVID, comprises a variety of symptoms that impair the quality of life. This represents a growing public health burden, with millions of individuals worldwide affected.

CASE DESCRIPTION: We present a case series of 14 COVID-19 patients with post-acute symptoms who underwent medically supervised long-term fasting (6 to 16 days) according to the peer-reviewed Buchinger Wilhelmi protocol. The EQ-5D-5L questionnaire and visual scales were used to evaluate the intensity of the symptoms, retrospectively during the acute phase, and prospectively before and after long-term fasting. Blood tests were also performed before and after fasting. Thirteen patients reported that fasting caused an enhancement in their perceived overall health. Only one patient had no improvement. Both frequent (fatigue, breathlessness, muscle and joint pains) and less frequent (cognitive impairment, smell and taste disorders) sequelae ameliorated. Body weight and other risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases like blood pressure, blood glucose, total cholesterol, low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides were reduced. No severe side effects occurred.

DISCUSSION: This case series reports beneficial changes in self-perceived symptoms in patients with long COVID after long-term fasting. This highlights the potential of long-term fasting as an effective intervention for managing and treating long COVID.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Hulscher N, Procter BC, Wynn C, et al (2023)

Clinical Approach to Post-acute Sequelae After COVID-19 Infection and Vaccination.

Cureus, 15(11):e49204.

The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 has been found to exhibit pathogenic characteristics and be a possible cause of post-acute sequelae after SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines utilize a modified, stabilized prefusion spike protein that may share similar toxic effects with its viral counterpart. The aim of this study is to investigate possible mechanisms of harm to biological systems from SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and vaccine-encoded spike protein and to propose possible mitigation strategies. We searched PubMed, Google Scholar, and 'grey literature' to find studies that (1) investigated the effects of the spike protein on biological systems, (2) helped differentiate between viral and vaccine-generated spike proteins, and (3) identified possible spike protein detoxification protocols and compounds that had signals of benefit and acceptable safety profiles. We found abundant evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spike protein may cause damage in the cardiovascular, hematological, neurological, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and immunological systems. Viral and vaccine-encoded spike proteins have been shown to play a direct role in cardiovascular and thrombotic injuries from both SARS-CoV-2 and vaccination. Detection of spike protein for at least 6-15 months after vaccination and infection in those with post-acute sequelae indicates spike protein as a possible primary contributing factor to long COVID. We rationalized that these findings give support to the potential benefit of spike protein detoxification protocols in those with long-term post-infection and/or vaccine-induced complications. We propose a base spike detoxification protocol, composed of oral nattokinase, bromelain, and curcumin. This approach holds immense promise as a base of clinical care, upon which additional therapeutic agents are applied with the goal of aiding in the resolution of post-acute sequelae after SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination. Large-scale, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials are warranted in order to determine the relative risks and benefits of the base spike detoxification protocol.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Romero M, Caicedo M, Díaz A, et al (2023)

Post-COVID-19 syndrome: Descriptive analysis based on a survivors' cohort in Colombia.

Global epidemiology, 6:100126 pii:S2590-1133(23)00029-9.

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of post-COVID-19 Syndrome (PCS) is estimated to be between 10% and 20%. The main reported symptoms are fatigue, memory alterations, dyspnea, sleep disorders, arthralgia, anxiety, taste alterations, coughing and depression. This study aims to determine the prevalence of post-COVID-19 symptoms in a group of Colombian patients who were recruited during their outpatient appointments.

METHODOLOGY: This cross-sectional study was conducted between December 2021 to May 2022. It included patients from outpatient facilities located in five main cities in Colombia who were positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing and reported PCS in the following 12 weeks after their COVID-19 diagnosis.

RESULTS: A total of 1047 individuals >18 years old met the inclusion criteria and were included in the study. The median age was 46 years old. 68.2% of the participants were female, 41.5% of the patients reported having a pre-existent condition (hypertension, anxiety disorder, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, obesity and asthma). Only 22% had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine prior to the COVID-19 episode registered. The more prevalent symptoms within our group are described as follows: fatigue (53.3%), dyspnea (40.3%), arthralgia and/or myalgia (43%), cephalea (40.5%), sleep disorders (35.7%) and coughing (31.3%). 72% of the patients presented four or more post-COVID 19 symptoms, 9% two symptoms, and 10% only one symptom.

CONCLUSION: The findings of this study are consistent with international literature publicly available. The distribution and prevalence of post-COVID symptoms highlight the importance of further research to improve understanding and its potential consequences and implications in terms of quality of life and health care planning services.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Bîrluţiu V, Bîrluţiu RM, Feiereisz AI, et al (2023)

Facial palsy at the onset of SARS-CoV-2 infection. A case report.

Germs, 13(1):65-71 pii:germs.2023.1368.

INTRODUCTION: SARS-CoV-2 infection has been associated with an increased number of deaths, due to severe respiratory damage, cardiovascular impairment, acute renal failure, and also neurological injury, including stroke, which is most commonly responsible for death. These are elements that determine patients to seek medical advice.

CASE REPORT: This is a case report of a female Caucasian patient, aged 65 years, with type 2 diabetes mellitus on metformin 1000 mg twice/day, and hypertension, who presented to the emergency department with one day history of left orbital hyperlacrimation and chewing and swallowing difficulty. On physical examination there was a decreased blink reflex, flattened nasolabial fold, and drooping left corner of the mouth, with left conjunctival hyperemia, and a present corneal reflex. Motion limited head CT and MRI revealed no pathological changes suggestive for the appearance of paresis. The patient was transferred to the Department of Infectious Diseases after laboratory confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Under treatment, improvement of paresis after three days was observed, with minimal asymmetry left five days after admission. A reassessment one month after discharge revealed complete recovery of the paresis, physical asthenia, and headache, in the context of long-COVID syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: The appearance of paresis may be a consequence of the direct action of the virus on the nervous system, of hypercoagulability, or, later, of an immune mechanism. The case presented is judged as an early, direct action of the virus on the central nervous system, the respiratory symptoms were minimized by the patient at the time of presentation.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, Cancela-Cilleruelo I, Rodríguez-Jiménez J, et al (2023)

Trajectory of post-COVID brain fog, memory loss, and concentration loss in previously hospitalized COVID-19 survivors: the LONG-COVID-EXP multicenter study.

Frontiers in human neuroscience, 17:1259660.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to apply Sankey plots and exponential bar plots for visualizing the trajectory of post-COVID brain fog, memory loss, and concentration loss in a cohort of previously hospitalized COVID-19 survivors.

METHODS: A sample of 1,266 previously hospitalized patients due to COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic were assessed at 8.4 (T1), 13.2 (T2), and 18.3 (T3) months after hospital discharge. They were asked about the presence of the following self-reported cognitive symptoms: brain fog (defined as self-perception of sluggish or fuzzy thinking), memory loss (defined as self-perception of unusual forgetfulness), and concentration loss (defined as self-perception of not being able to maintain attention). We asked about symptoms that individuals had not experienced previously, and they attributed them to the acute infection. Clinical and hospitalization data were collected from hospital medical records.

RESULTS: The Sankey plots revealed that the prevalence of post-COVID brain fog was 8.37% (n = 106) at T1, 4.7% (n = 60) at T2, and 5.1% (n = 65) at T3, whereas the prevalence of post-COVID memory loss was 14.9% (n = 189) at T1, 11.4% (n = 145) at T2, and 12.12% (n = 154) at T3. Finally, the prevalence of post-COVID concentration loss decreased from 6.86% (n = 87) at T1, to 4.78% (n = 60) at T2, and to 2.63% (n = 33) at T3. The recovery exponential curves show a decreasing trend, indicating that these post-COVID cognitive symptoms recovered in the following years after discharge. The regression models did not reveal any medical record data associated with post-COVID brain fog, memory loss, or concentration loss in the long term.

CONCLUSION: The use of Sankey plots shows a fluctuating evolution of post-COVID brain fog, memory loss, or concentration loss during the first years after the infection. In addition, exponential bar plots revealed a decrease in the prevalence of these symptoms during the first years after hospital discharge. No risk factors were identified in this cohort.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Carpio-Orantes LD, Aguilar-Silva A, García-Méndez S, et al (2023)

Neuropsychiatric manifestations in patients with long COVID in Mexico.

Brain circulation, 9(3):196-197 pii:BC-9-196.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Wu J, Yang H, Yu D, et al (2023)

Blood-derived product therapies for SARS-CoV-2 infection and long COVID.

MedComm, 4(6):e426 pii:MCO2426.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is capable of large-scale transmission and has caused the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Patients with COVID-19 may experience persistent long-term health issues, known as long COVID. Both acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and long COVID have resulted in persistent negative impacts on global public health. The effective application and development of blood-derived products are important strategies to combat the serious damage caused by COVID-19. Since the emergence of COVID-19, various blood-derived products that target or do not target SARS-CoV-2 have been investigated for therapeutic applications. SARS-CoV-2-targeting blood-derived products, including COVID-19 convalescent plasma, COVID-19 hyperimmune globulin, and recombinant anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing immunoglobulin G, are virus-targeting and can provide immediate control of viral infection in the short term. Non-SARS-CoV-2-targeting blood-derived products, including intravenous immunoglobulin and human serum albumin exhibit anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, and anticoagulatory properties. Rational use of these products can be beneficial to patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection or long COVID. With evidence accumulated since the pandemic began, we here summarize the progress of blood-derived product therapies for COVID-19, discuss the effective methods and scenarios regarding these therapies, and provide guidance and suggestions for clinical treatment.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Karampitsakos T, Spagnolo P, A Tzouvelekis (2023)

Editorial: Immune-mediated lung injury.

Frontiers in medicine, 10:1292074.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Stengel S, Gölz L, Kolb J, et al (2023)

First insights into multidisciplinary and multispecialty long COVID networks-a SWOT analysis from the perspective of ambulatory health care professionals.

Frontiers in medicine, 10:1251915.

INTRODUCTION: Multidisciplinary and multispecialty approaches with central integration of primary care, individualized long-term rehabilitative care, and multidisciplinary care pathways are recommended by international consortia to face the challenges of care of long COVID. Two regional long COVID networks-Rhein-Neckar (RN) and Ludwigsburg (LU) have emerged as ad hoc examples of best practice in Southern Germany. The aim of the community case study is to provide first insights into the experiences of the networks.

METHODS: The exploratory observational study was conducted between April and June 2023, focusing on an observation period of just under 24 months and using a document analysis supported by MAXQDA and SWOT analysis with ambulatory health care professionals in two online group discussions.

RESULTS: The document analysis revealed that both networks have defined network participants who have agreed on common goals and patient pathways and have established ways of communicating, organizing, and collaborating. Both networks agreed on a primary care-based, multidisciplinary and multispecialty approach. The main differences in realization emerged in LU as a focus on the ambulatory setting and very concrete application to individual patients, while RN showed a focus on an intersectoral character with participation of the specialized university hospital sector, knowledge transfer and a supra-regional approach with the involvement of the meso and macro level. The SWOT analysis (n = 14 participants, n = 6 male, 7 physicians (4 disciplines), 7 therapists (5 professions)) showed strengths such as resulting collaboration, contribution to knowledge transfer, and improvement of care for individual patients. As barriers, e.g., lack of reimbursement, high efforts of care, and persistent motivation gaps became apparent. Potentials mentioned were, e.g., transferability to other diseases such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, promotion of addressing a "difficult topic" and promotion of intersectoral care concepts; risks mentioned were, e.g., limited network resources and negative effects on the development of other structures.

CONCLUSION: Resulting implications for practice and research address a call to policy makers and funders to support further research to find out what generalizable results regarding usefulness, effectiveness, and efficiency including transferability to other post-infectious diseases can be derived.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Huang D, Yu Y, Lu J, et al (2023)

Biologics targeting IL-17 and IL-23 maintain stability in patients with psoriasis during COVID-19 infection: a case-control study.

Frontiers in medicine, 10:1280965.

BACKGROUND: Psoriasis is a chronic and refractory skin disease. The emergence of biologics provides more options for the treatment of psoriasis, but the COVID-19 pandemic poses challenges for the management of psoriasis.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of different biologics on the stabilization of psoriasis during COVID-19 infection in China.

METHODS: This is a single-center, observational, retrospective, case-control study. Using our database, we conducted a remote dermatologic study by means of questionnaire follow-up or telephone follow-up to collect general information of patients, information related to COVID-19 infection and conditions of psoriasis for comparison and further analysis between groups.

RESULTS: Our study ultimately included 274 patients for analysis. We found that the patients in this collection had mild symptoms of COVID-19 infection, and only 13 of them needed to go to the hospital for medical treatment. Further studies found that in biologics, relative to tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors (TNF-αi), interleukin-17 inhibitors (IL-17i) and interleukin-23 inhibitors (IL-23i) are both protective factors in flare-up of psoriasis [IL-17i: OR (95% CI) = 0.412 (0.189-0.901); IL-23i: OR (95% CI) = 0.291 (0.097-0.876)]. In addition, we also found that the proportion of people with increased psoriasis developing long COVID-19 increased, and we speculated that increased psoriasis may be a potential risk factor for long COVID-19.

CONCLUSION: Our study showed that the use of IL-17i and IL-23i was a protective factor for psoriasis compared with TNF-αi, and could keep the psoriasis stable.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Hoshijima H, Mihara T, Seki H, et al (2023)

Incidence of long-term post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection related to pain and other symptoms: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

PloS one, 18(11):e0250909 pii:PONE-D-21-13798.

BACKGROUND: Persistent symptoms are reported in patients who survive the initial stage of COVID-19, often referred to as "long COVID" or "post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection" (PASC); however, evidence on their incidence is still lacking, and symptoms relevant to pain are yet to be assessed.

METHODS: A literature search was performed using the electronic databases PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and CHINAL and preprint servers MedRχiv and BioRχiv through January 15, 2021. The primary outcome was pain-related symptoms such as headache or myalgia. Secondary outcomes were symptoms relevant to pain (depression or muscle weakness) and symptoms frequently reported (anosmia and dyspnea). Incidence rates of symptoms were pooled using inverse variance methods with a DerSimonian-Laird random-effects model. The source of heterogeneity was explored using meta-regression, with follow-up period, age and sex as covariates.

RESULTS: In total, 38 studies including 19,460 patients were eligible. Eight pain-related symptoms and 26 other symptoms were identified. The highest pooled incidence among pain-related symptoms was chest pain (17%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 11%-24%), followed by headache (16%, 95% CI, 9%-27%), arthralgia (13%, 95% CI, 7%-24%), neuralgia (12%, 95% CI, 3%-38%) and abdominal pain (11%, 95% CI, 7%-16%). The highest pooled incidence among other symptoms was fatigue (44%, 95% CI, 32%-57%), followed by insomnia (27%, 95% CI, 10%-55%), dyspnea (26%, 95% CI, 17%-38%), weakness (25%, 95% CI, 8%-56%) and anosmia (19%, 95% CI, 13%-27%). Substantial heterogeneity was identified (I2, 50-100%). Meta-regression analyses partially accounted for the source of heterogeneity, and yet, 53% of the symptoms remained unexplained.

CONCLUSIONS: The current meta-analysis may provide a complete picture of incidence in PASC. It remains unclear, however, whether post-COVID symptoms progress or regress over time or to what extent PASC are associated with age or sex.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Eastman Q (2023)

Study Shows Businesses Selling Unapproved Stem Cell Treatments Have Turned to Long COVID.

JAMA pii:2812505 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Boccatonda A, Campello E, Simion C, et al (2023)

Long-term hypercoagulability, endotheliopathy and inflammation following acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Expert review of hematology [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: both symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections - coined Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) - have been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular events after recovery.

AREAS COVERED: our review aims to summarize the latest evidence on the increased thrombotic and cardiovascular risk in recovered COVID-19 patients and to examine the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying the interplay among endothelial dysfunction, inflammatory response and coagulation in long-COVID. We performed a systematic search of studies on hypercoagulability, endothelial dysfunction and inflammation after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

EXPERT OPINION: endothelial dysfunction is a major pathophysiological mechanism responsible for most clinical manifestations in COVID-19. The pathological activation of endothelial cells by a virus infection results in a pro-adhesive and chemokine-secreting phenotype, which in turn promotes the recruitment of circulating leukocytes. Cardiovascular events after COVID-19 appear to be related to persistent immune dysregulation. Patients with long-lasting symptoms display higher amounts of proinflammatory molecules such as tumor necrosis factor-α, interferon γ and interleukins 2 and 6. Immune dysregulation can trigger the activation of the coagulation pathway. The formation of extensive microclots in vivo, both during acute COVID-19 and in long-COVID-19, appears to be a relevant mechanism responsible for persistent symptoms and cardiovascular events.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Bejaoui Y, Humaira Amanullah F, Saad M, et al (2023)

Epigenetic age acceleration in surviving versus deceased COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome following hospitalization.

Clinical epigenetics, 15(1):186.

BACKGROUND: Aging has been reported as a major risk factor for severe symptoms and higher mortality rates in COVID-19 patients. Molecular hallmarks such as epigenetic alterations and telomere attenuation reflect the biological process of aging. Epigenetic clocks have been shown to be valuable tools for measuring biological age in various tissues and samples. As such, these epigenetic clocks can determine accelerated biological aging and time-to-mortality across various tissues. Previous reports have shown accelerated biological aging and telomere attrition acceleration following SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, the effect of accelerated epigenetic aging on outcome (death/recovery) in COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has not been well investigated.

RESULTS: In this study, we measured DNA methylation age and telomere attrition in 87 severe COVID-19 cases with ARDS under mechanical ventilation. Furthermore, we compared dynamic changes in epigenetic aging across multiple time points until recovery or death. Epigenetic age was measured using the Horvath, Hannum, DNAm skin and blood, GrimAge, and PhenoAge clocks, whereas telomere length was calculated using the surrogate marker DNAmTL. Our analysis revealed significant accelerated epigenetic aging but no telomere attrition acceleration in severe COVID-19 cases. In addition, we observed epigenetic age deceleration at inclusion versus end of follow-up in recovered but not in deceased COVID-19 cases using certain clocks. When comparing dynamic changes in epigenetic age acceleration (EAA), we detected higher EAA using both the Horvath and PhenoAge clocks in deceased versus recovered patients. The DNAmTL measurements revealed telomere attrition acceleration in deceased COVID-19 patients between inclusion and end of follow-up and a significant change in dynamic telomere attrition acceleration when comparing patients who recovered versus those who died.

CONCLUSIONS: EAA and telomere attrition acceleration were associated with treatment outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with ARDS. A better understanding of the long-term effects of EAA in COVID-19 patients and how they might contribute to long COVID symptoms in recovered individuals is urgently needed.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Guo B, Zhao C, He MZ, et al (2023)

Identifying patterns of reported findings on long-term cardiac complications of COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BMC medicine, 21(1):468.

INTRODUCTION: Prior reviews synthesized findings of studies on long-term cardiac complications of COVID-19. However, the reporting and methodological quality of these studies has not been systematically evaluated. Here, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on long-term cardiac complications of COVID-19 and examined patterns of reported findings by study quality and characteristics.

METHODS: We searched for studies examining long-term cardiac complications of COVID-19 that persisted for 4 weeks and over. A customized Newcastle-Ottawa scale (NOS) was used to evaluate the quality of included studies. Meta-analysis was performed to generate prevalence estimates of long-term cardiac complications across studies. Stratified analyses were further conducted to examine the prevalence of each complication by study quality and characteristics. The GRADE approach was used to determine the level of evidence for complications included in the meta-analysis.

RESULTS: A total number of 150 studies describing 57 long-term cardiac complications were included in this review, and 137 studies reporting 17 complications were included in the meta-analysis. Only 25.3% (n = 38) of studies were of high quality based on the NOS quality assessment. Chest pain and arrhythmia were the most widely examined long-term complications. When disregarding study quality and characteristics, summary prevalence estimates for chest and arrhythmia were 9.79% (95% CI 7.24-13.11) and 8.22% (95% CI 6.46-10.40), respectively. However, stratified analyses showed that studies with low-quality scores, small sample sizes, unsystematic sampling methods, and cross-sectional design were more likely to report a higher prevalence of complications. For example, the prevalence of chest pain was 22.17% (95% CI 14.40-32.55), 11.08% (95% CI 8.65-14.09), and 3.89% (95% CI 2.49-6.03) in studies of low, medium, and high quality, respectively. Similar patterns were observed for arrhythmia and other less examined long-term cardiac complications.

CONCLUSION: There is a wide spectrum of long-term cardiac complications of COVID-19. Reported findings from previous studies are strongly related to study quality, sample sizes, sampling methods, and designs, underscoring the need for high-quality epidemiologic studies to characterize these complications and understand their etiology.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Anonymous (2023)

Do allergic conditions increase the risk of developing Long-COVID after SARS-CoV-2 infection?.

Saudi medical journal, 44(12):1312.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Wang P, Zhang S, Qi C, et al (2023)

Blood microbial analyses reveal long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on patients who recovered from COVID-19.

Computers in biology and medicine, 168:107721 pii:S0010-4825(23)01186-1 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: Few symptoms persist for a long time after patients recover from COVID-19, called "long COVID". We explored the potential microbial risk factors for COVID-19 for a deeper understanding and assistance in the follow-up treatment of these sequelae.

METHODS: Microbiome re-annotation was performed using whole blood RNA-Seq data collected from recovered COVID-19 patients and healthy controls at multiple time points. Subsequently, a series of downstream analyses were conducted to reveal the microbial characteristics of patients who recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RESULTS: The blood microbiome at 12 weeks post-infection was most evidently disturbed, including an increasing ratio of Bacillota/Bacteroidota and a higher microbial alpha diversity. In addition, a group of pathogenic microbes at 12 weeks post-infection were identified, including Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which were positively associated with host genes involved in immune regulatory and olfactory transduction pathways. Several microbes, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae were associated with infiltrating immune cells, such as M2 macrophages.

CONCLUSION: This study provides insights into the relationship between the blood microbiome and COVID-19 sequelae. Several pathogenic microbes were enriched in recovered COVID-19 patients and thus affected host genes participating in the immune and olfactory transduction pathways, which play critical roles in COVID-19 sequelae.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Chen K, Rogers ML, Clark MA, et al (2023)

Pandemic Preparedness and the Workforce: Employer Experiences with Long COVID.

Rhode Island medical journal (2013), 106(11):54-61.

BACKGROUND: Although viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2, can cause persistent symptoms and functional limitations, the impact of post-viral syndromes on workplaces is uncertain.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of workplaces in Rhode Island in the D&B Hoovers database (September-October 2022). Eligible workplaces had ≥1 contact with a valid email address and ≥2 paid employees. Participants completed a survey on the impact of Long COVID (post-viral syndrome of SARS-CoV-2) on their workplace.

RESULTS: Of 6,149 eligible workplaces, 484 (8%) participated. Awareness of Long COVID among workplace leaders was limited. Overall, 28% of workplaces had any employees report having Long COVID. Of those, 14% had ≥1 employee discontinue employment, 45% had ≥1 employee reduce their workload, and 22% had ≥1 employee request an accommodation due to having Long COVID; 80% of employers reported improvement in employee productivity with accommodations.

CONCLUSION: Pandemic preparations for the long-term impacts of post-viral syndromes should consider workplace settings.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Volk P, Rahmani Manesh M, Warren ME, et al (2023)

Long-term neurological dysfunction associated with COVID-19: Lessons from influenza and inflammatory diseases?.

Journal of neurochemistry [Epub ahead of print].

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, SARS-CoV-2 infection is increasingly associated with long-term neurological side effects including cognitive impairment, fatigue, depression, and anxiety, colloquially known as "long-COVID." While the full extent of long-COVID neuropathology across years or even decades is not yet known, we can perhaps take direction from long-standing research into other respiratory diseases, such as influenza, that can present with similar long-term neurological consequences. In this review, we highlight commonalities in the neurological impacts of influenza and COVID-19. We first focus on the common potential mechanisms underlying neurological sequelae of long-COVID and influenza, namely (1) viral neurotropism and (2) dysregulated peripheral inflammation. The latter, namely heightened peripheral inflammation leading to central nervous system dysfunction, is emerging as a shared mechanism in various peripheral inflammatory or inflammation-associated diseases and conditions. We then discuss historical and modern examples of influenza- and COVID-19-associated cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and fatigue, revealing key similarities in their neurological sequelae. Although we are learning that the effects of influenza and COVID differ somewhat in terms of their influence on the brain, as the impacts of long-COVID grow, such comparisons will likely prove valuable in guiding ongoing research into long-COVID, and perhaps foreshadow what could be in store for individuals with COVID-19 and their brain health.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Cimolai N (2023)

COVID-19 among infants: key clinical features and remaining controversies.

Clinical and experimental pediatrics pii:cep.2023.00794 [Epub ahead of print].

Infants aged <1 year represent a seemingly more susceptible pediatric subset for infections. Despite this, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection has not been proven as more serious in this age group (outside the very early neonatal period) than in others. Indeed, a considerable number of asymptomatic infections have been recorded, and the symptoms and morbidity associated with COVID-19 differ minimally from those of other respiratory viral infections. Whether due to an abundance of caution or truly reduced susceptibility, infections in infants have not raised the same profile as those in other age groups. In addition to direct severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 diagnostic tests, laboratory markers that differentiate COVID-19 from other viral infections lack specificity in infants. Gastrointestinal presentations are common, and the neurological complications of infection mirror those of other respiratory viral infections. There have been relatively few reports of infant deaths. Under appropriate precautions, breastfeeding in the context of maternal infections has been associated with tangible but infrequent complications. Vaccination during pregnancy provides protection against infection in infants, at least in the early months of life. Multi-inflammatory syndrome in children and multi-inflammatory syndrome in neonates are commonly cited as variants of COVID-19; however, their clinical definitions remain controversial. Similarly, reliable definitions of long COVID in the infant group are controversial. This narrative review examines the key clinical and laboratory features of COVID-19 in infants and identifies several areas of science awaiting further clarification.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Modji KK, McCoy KE, Creswell PD, et al (2023)

Long COVID among Wisconsin workers in the workers compensation system: Associations with socio-demographics, vaccination and predominant variant period from March 1, 2020 - July 31, 2022.

Journal of occupational and environmental medicine pii:00043764-990000000-00452 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: This analysis aimed to determine the likelihood of developing long COVID among Wisconsin workers while adjusting for socio-demographics, COVID-19 vaccination, industry and occupation.

METHODS: This retrospective analysis determined the odds ratios of developing long COVID among Wisconsin workers who were compensated for COVID-19 lost time during March 1, 2020 - July 31, 2022.

RESULTS: A total of 234 workers (11.7%) were determined to have long COVID. Factors associated with long COVID were age > =40 years, non-White race, infection occurrence during the initial and Omicron variant dominant periods and the absence of COVID-19 vaccination. Workers in Manufacturing and Public Administration were more likely to develop long COVID compared to those in Health Care and Social Assistance.

CONCLUSIONS: Long COVID disproportionately affects some worker groups. This calls for more worker protection and preventative care to mitigate its impact.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Tan S, Pryor AJG, Melville GW, et al (2023)

The lingering symptoms of post-COVID-19 condition (long-COVID): a prospective cohort study.

Internal medicine journal [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Longer-term symptoms (long COVID) may be present in seemingly recovered patients for several months and can be debilitating.

AIM: To investigate the prevalence and type of symptoms in those with a prior COVID-19 diagnosis.

METHODS: This prospective, longitudinal observational study commenced in July 2020 investigating the longer-term health impacts of COVID-19. Participants were recruited via public health units and media publicity. Surveys were completed upon enrolment, and at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months. Outcome measures included incidence of activity limitations and symptoms against health and vaccination status, age and gender.

RESULTS: Overall, 339 participants were recruited. At 3 months after COVID-19, 66.8% reported symptoms, and 44.8% were still experiencing symptoms at 12 months. Fatigue was most common at every point (between 53.1% and 33.1%). Pain symptoms increased in relative prevalence over time, whereas respiratory/pulmonary-type symptoms decreased substantially after 3 months. Females and younger people were more likely to experience symptoms in the early stages of long COVID (P < 0.01) and those with more comorbidities in the latter stages (P < 0.001). Vaccination showed a statistically significant protective effect against symptoms (P < 0.01-0.001).

CONCLUSION: Long-term COVID-19 symptoms exist among recovered patients up to 12 months after contracting the virus. Fatigue is a primary contributor, while chronic pain became more problematic after 6 months. Vaccination was a factor in preventing long-term symptoms and aiding faster recovery from symptoms. Further work exploring additional contributors to symptom prevalence would assist in developing appropriate follow-up care.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Ponirakis G, Odriozola A, Ortega L, et al (2023)

Quantitative Sensory Testing Defines the Trajectory of Sensory Neuropathy after Severe COVID-19.

Diabetes research and clinical practice pii:S0168-8227(23)00792-1 [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: To assess sensory neuropathy development after severe COVID-19.

METHODS: Patients with severe COVID-19 underwent assessment of neuropathic symptoms, tendon reflexes, and quantitative sensory testing to evaluate vibration (VPT), cold (CPT), warm (WPT) and heat perception thresholds (HPT) within 1-3 weeks of admission and after 1-year.

RESULTS: 32 participants with severe COVID-19 aged 68.6±12.4 (18.8% diabetes) were assessed. At baseline, numbness and neuropathic pain were present in 56.3% and 43.8% of participants, respectively. On the feet, VPT, WPT, and HPT were abnormal in 81.3%, CPT was abnormal in 50.0% and HPT on the face was abnormal in 12.5% of patients. At 1-year follow-up, the prevalence of abnormal VPT (81.3% vs 50.0%, P<0.01), WPT (81.3% vs 43.8%, P<0.01), and HPT (81.3% vs 50.0%, P<0.01) decreased, with no change in CPT (P=0.21) on the feet or HPT on the face (P=1.0). Only participants without diabetes recovered from an abnormal VPT, CPT, and WPT. Patients with long-COVID (37.5%) had comparable baseline VPT, WPT and CPT with those without long-COVID (P=0.07-0.69).

CONCLUSIONS: Severe COVID-19 is associated with abnormal vibration and thermal thresholds which are sustained for up to 1 year in patients with diabetes. Abnormal sensory thresholds have no association with long-COVID development.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Panzeri A, DeVita M, Di Rosa E, et al (2023)

Trauma Shaping the Psychopathological Correlates of Patients with Long-COVID: A 6-Months Longitudinal Study with Repeated Measures Mixed Models.

Psychiatry research, 330:115609 pii:S0165-1781(23)00559-0 [Epub ahead of print].

This research aimed at investigating how the experience of trauma can influence the psychological correlates of long-COVID over time in a clinical sample of patients hospitalized because of COVID-19. Through a longitudinal research design, 70 post-acute patients with COVID-19 were followed-up after hospital discharge in 3-time points up to 6 months and completed the Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5) and the Symptoms Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90 R). Repeated measures mixed models with random intercept were used to evaluate the effect of trauma (yes/no) over time (T1, T2, T3) on the SCL-90-R scales. Results showed that patients with trauma display significantly worse psychological outcomes in all the SCL-90-R dimensions [all padj < .05 for the principal effects of trauma(y)], especially in symptoms of depression [time 2 vs time 1*trauma(y): b = -3.86, 95%CI (-7.18, -0.53), padj = .035; time 3 vs time 1*trauma(y): b = -4.77, 95%CI (-8.10, -1.45), padj = .011], anxiety [time 3 vs time 1*trauma(y): b = -4.54, 95%CI (-7.72, -1.37), padj = .011], and obsessive-compulsive difficulties [time 3 vs time 1*trauma(y): b = -4.03, 95%CI (-7.20, -0.86), padj = .027]. These findings shed light on the long-term psychological consequences of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients and highlight the key role of trauma, suggesting its assessment to tailor psychological interventions.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Mohan A, Iyer VA, Kumar D, et al (2023)

Navigating the Post-COVID-19 Immunological Era: Understanding Long COVID-19 and Immune Response.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 13(11):.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world unprecedentedly, with both positive and negative impacts. COVID-19 significantly impacted the immune system, and understanding the immunological consequences of COVID-19 is essential for developing effective treatment strategies. The purpose of this review is to comprehensively explore and provide insights into the immunological aspects of long COVID-19, a phenomenon where individuals continue to experience a range of symptoms and complications, even after the acute phase of COVID-19 infection has subsided. The immune system responds to the initial infection by producing various immune cells and molecules, including antibodies, T cells, and cytokines. However, in some patients, this immune response becomes dysregulated, leading to chronic inflammation and persistent symptoms. Long COVID-19 encompasses diverse persistent symptoms affecting multiple organ systems, including the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems. In the post-COVID-19 immunological era, long COVID-19 and its impact on immune response have become a significant concern. Post-COVID-19 immune pathology, including autoimmunity and immune-mediated disorders, has also been reported in some patients. This review provides an overview of the current understanding of long COVID-19, its relationship to immunological responses, and the impact of post-COVID-19 immune pathology on patient outcomes. Additionally, the review addresses the current and potential treatments for long COVID-19, including immunomodulatory therapies, rehabilitation programs, and mental health support, all of which aim to improve the quality of life for individuals with long COVID-19. Understanding the complex interplay between the immune system and long COVID-19 is crucial for developing targeted therapeutic strategies and providing optimal care in the post-COVID-19 era.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Obeidat FS, Alghwiri AA, SL Whitney (2023)

Predictors of Dizziness and Hearing Disorders in People with Long COVID.

Medicina (Kaunas, Lithuania), 59(11):.

Background and Objectives: Individuals report persistent symptoms after becoming infected by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) that last for >4 weeks (long-COVID syndrome). Dizziness and hearing loss have been reported among long-COVID symptoms. However, little is known about the potential predictors of dizziness and hearing loss in individuals with long COVID. This study aimed to explore the presence and correlates of dizziness and hearing loss in a sample of people with long-COVID syndrome. Materials and Methods: Individuals aged 18 years and older who were infected with COVID-19 at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the study were included if they were not diagnosed with dizziness or hearing loss before getting COVID-19. Demographics and COVID-19-related information were collected. Participants completed the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI), Activities-Specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale, Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I), Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), and Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12 (SF-12). Finally, hearing was assessed using pure-tone audiometry (PTA) in a subsample. Results: Two hundred and nine individuals (66% female) with a mean (SD) age of 27 (9) participated in the study. Perceived dizziness and hearing loss were reported in 26 and 15.3% of the sample, respectively. Logistic regression was conducted to identify potential predictors of dizziness and hearing loss separately. After controlling for age and severity of dizziness, female sex and high fatigue severity were associated with an increased likelihood of reporting dizziness (R[2] = 31%). The severity of dizziness and neurological symptoms during the acute stage of COVID-19 were associated with an increased likelihood of reporting hearing loss (R[2] = 10.4%) after controlling for age. Conclusions: Dizziness and hearing loss present in long COVID and can be disabling. Females with high levels of fatigue should be questioned about persistent dizziness. Hearing loss should be considered in individuals with neurological symptoms and severe dizziness as a consequence of long COVID.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Tabacof L, Wood J, Breyman E, et al (2023)

Dysautonomia, but Not Cardiac Dysfunction, Is Common in a Cohort of Individuals with Long COVID.

Journal of personalized medicine, 13(11): pii:jpm13111606.

Despite the prevalence of dysautonomia in people with Long COVID, it is currently unknown whether Long COVID dysautonomia is routinely accompanied by structural or functional cardiac alterations. In this retrospective observational study, the presence of echocardiographic abnormalities was assessed. Left ventricular (LV) chamber sizes were correlated to diagnostic categories and symptoms via standardized patient-reported outcome (PRO) questionnaires. A total of 203 individuals with Long COVID without pre-existing cardiac disease and with available echocardiograms were included (mean age, 45 years; 67% female). Overall, symptoms and PRO scores for fatigue, breathlessness, quality of life, disability, anxiety and depression were not different between those classified with post-COVID dysautonomia (PCD, 22%) and those unclassified (78%). An LV internal diameter at an end-diastole z score < -2 was observed in 33 (16.5%) individuals, and stroke volume (SV) was lower in the PCD vs. unclassified subgroup (51.6 vs. 59.2 mL, 95% C.I. 47.1-56.1 vs. 56.2-62.3). LV end-diastolic volume (mean diff. (95% CI) -13 [-1--26] mL, p = 0.04) and SV (-10 [-1--20] mL, p = 0.03) were smaller in those individuals reporting a reduction in physical activity post-COVID-19 infection, and smaller LVMI was weakly correlated with worse fatigue (r = 0.23, p = 0.02). The majority of individuals with Long COVID report shared symptoms and did not demonstrate cardiac dysfunction on echocardiography.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Newlands F, Goddings AL, Juste M, et al (2023)

Children and Young People with Long COVID-Comparing Those Seen in Post-COVID Services with a Non-Hospitalised National Cohort: A Descriptive Study.

Children (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11): pii:children10111750.

BACKGROUND: Post-COVID services have been set up in England to treat children with ongoing symptoms of Long COVID. To date, the characteristics of children seeking treatment from these services has not been described.

PURPOSE: (1) to describe the characteristics of children aged 11-17 referred to the Pan-London Post-COVID service and (2) to compare characteristics of these children with those taking part in the United Kingdom's largest research study of Long COVID in children (CLoCk).

DESIGN: Data from 95 children seeking treatment from the Post-COVID service between May 2021 and August 2022 were included in the study. Their demographic characteristics, symptom burden and the impact of infection are described and compared to children from CLoCk.

RESULTS: A high proportion of children from the Post-COVID service and CLoCk reported experiencing health problems prior to the pandemic. Almost all Post-COVID service children met the research Delphi definition of Long COVID (94.6%), having multiple symptoms that impacted their lives. Symptoms were notably more severe than the participants in CLoCk.

CONCLUSIONS: This study describes the characteristics of children seeking treatment for Long COVID compared to those identified in the largest longitudinal observational study to date. Post-COVID service children have more symptoms and are more severely affected by their symptoms following infection with COVID-19 than children in the CLoCk study. Research to understand predisposing factors for severity and prognostic indicators is essential to prevent this debilitating condition. Evaluation of short- and long-term outcomes of interventions by clinical services can help direct future therapy for this group.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Huang SM, Hsieh CY, Ting JU, et al (2023)

Anti-COVID-19, Anti-Inflammatory, and Anti-Osteoarthritis Activities of Sesamin from Sesamum indicum L.

Bioengineering (Basel, Switzerland), 10(11): pii:bioengineering10111263.

During the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak, many people were infected, and the symptoms may persist for several weeks or months for recovering patients. This is also known as "long COVID" and includes symptoms such as fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, et cetera. The COVID-19 virus may trigger hyper-inflammation associated with cytokine levels in the body. COVID-19 can trigger inflammation in the joints, which can lead to osteoarthritis (OA), while long-term COVID-19 symptoms may lead to joint damage and other inflammation problems. According to several studies, sesame has potent anti-inflammatory properties due to its major constituent, sesamin. This study examined sesamin's anti-inflammatory, anti-osteoarthritis, and anti-COVID-19 effects. Moreover, in vivo and in vitro assays were used to determine sesamin's anti-inflammatory activity against the RAW264.7 and SW1353 cell lines. Sesamin had a dose-dependent effect (20 mg/kg) in a monoiodoacetic acid (MIA)-induced osteoarthritis rat model. Sesamin reduced paw swelling and joint discomfort. In addition, the findings indicated that sesamin suppressed the expression of iNOS (inducible nitric oxide synthase) and COX-2 (cyclooxygenase-2) in the RAW264.7 cell line within the concentration range of 6.25-50 μM. Furthermore, sesamin also had a suppressive effect on MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) expression in chondrocytes and the SW1353 cell line within the same concentration range of 6.25-50 μM. To examine the anti-viral activity, an in silico analysis was performed to evaluate sesamin's binding affinity with SARS-CoV-2 RdRp (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) and human ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2). Compared to the controls, sesamin exhibited strong binding affinities towards SARS-CoV-2 RdRp and human ACE2. Furthermore, sesamin had a higher binding affinity for the ACE2 target protein. This study suggests that sesamin shows potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity for drug development.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Hu Y, Liu Y, Zheng H, et al (2023)

Risk Factors for Long COVID in Older Adults.

Biomedicines, 11(11): pii:biomedicines11113002.

As time has passed following the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 have gradually exhibited a variety of symptoms associated with long COVID in the postacute phase of infection. Simultaneously, in many countries worldwide, the process of population aging has been accelerating. Within this context, the elderly population has not only become susceptible and high-risk during the acute phase of COVID-19 but also has considerable risks when confronting long COVID. Elderly individuals possess specific immunological backgrounds, and during the process of aging, their immune systems can enter a state known as "immunosenescence". This further exacerbates "inflammaging" and the development of various comorbidities in elderly individuals, rendering them more susceptible to long COVID. Additionally, long COVID can inflict both physical and mental harm upon elderly people, thereby reducing their overall quality of life. Consequently, the impact of long COVID on elderly people should not be underestimated. This review seeks to summarize the infection characteristics and intrinsic factors of older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on the physical and mental impact of long COVID. Additionally, it aims to explore potential strategies to mitigate the risk of long COVID or other emerging infectious diseases among older adults in the future.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Bergamaschi G, Barteselli C, Calabretta F, et al (2023)

Haematological sequelae in the post-acute phase of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Internal and emergency medicine [Epub ahead of print].

Many patients surviving SARS-CoV-2 infection suffer from long-term symptoms (long COVID or post COVID) such as shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste or smell and cognitive deterioration. However, few data are available concerning blood cell counts and haematological parameters during the post-COVID period. We analysed haematological data from 83 patients previously admitted to the internal medicine unit of our institution because of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection; all data were obtained within 1-12 months from disease onset. A control group of 70 apparently healthy, age- and sex-matched COVID-19 negative individuals was assessed for comparison. Blood cell counts improved in the post-COVID period, but 81% of patients had persistent abnormalities, compared with 50% in the control group, p < 0.001. Most common haematological findings included anaemia (40%), reduced lymphocyte (43%) or eosinophil counts (38%) and low IgM memory B cells and correlated with advanced age, number of chronic comorbidities, female gender, altered renal function, reduced baseline Hb and procalcitonin concentrations and increased RDW. Data on lymphocytes and IgM memory B cells show that impaired immune responses may persist for up to one year in the post-COVID period, possibly contributing to long-term symptoms, especially in female patients.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Routen A, K Khunti (2023)

Long-term outcomes in hospitalised COVID-19 survivors and future research priorities.

The Lancet. Respiratory medicine pii:S2213-2600(23)00410-1 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Zhang H, Huang C, Gu X, et al (2023)

3-year outcomes of discharged survivors of COVID-19 following the SARS-CoV-2 omicron (B.1.1.529) wave in 2022 in China: a longitudinal cohort study.

The Lancet. Respiratory medicine pii:S2213-2600(23)00387-9 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: There is a paucity of data on the natural trajectory of outcomes in survivors of COVID-19 beyond 2 years after symptom onset, and no evidence exists on the effect of re-infection in people with long COVID symptoms. We aimed to investigate the 3-year health outcomes of COVID-19 survivors and the effect of omicron re-infection.

METHODS: In this single-centre, longitudinal cohort study, we recruited participants with confirmed COVID-19 who were discharged from the Jin Yin-tan hospital in Wuhan, China, between Jan 7 and May 29, 2020. Participants completed three follow-up visits at 6 months (June 16 to Sept 13, 2020), 1 year (Dec 16, 2020, to Feb 7, 2021), and 2 years (Nov 16, 2021, to Jan 10, 2022) since symptom onset (reported previously). At 1-year follow-up, community controls without a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited from two communities in Wuhan and at 2 years were matched (1:1) with survivors of COVID-19 who underwent pulmonary function tests. We did a 3-year follow-up from Feb 23, 2023, to April 20, 2023, after the omicron (B.1.1.529) wave in winter, 2022. All eligible survivors of COVID-19 and community controls matched at 2-year follow-up were invited to the outpatient clinic at the hospital to complete several face-to-face questionnaires, a 6-min walking test (6MWT), and laboratory tests. A subgroup of survivors of COVID-19 identified by stratified sampling on the basis of disease severity scale score during hospitalisation and community controls underwent pulmonary function tests. Survivors of COVID-19 who received high-resolution CT and showed abnormal lung images at 2-year follow-up were invited for another assessment. We identified participants with and without long COVID at 2 years. The primary outcomes were sequelae symptoms, omicron infection, lung function, and chest imaging at the 3-year follow-up.

FINDINGS: Of 1359 COVID-19 survivors who completed 2-year and 3-year follow-up, 728 (54%) had at least one sequelae symptom at 3 years after symptom onset and before omicron infection, mainly mild to moderate severity. During the omicron wave, participants with long COVID at 2 years had a significantly higher proportion of re-infection (573 [76%] of 753 vs 409 [67%] of 606 without long COVID; p=0·0004), pneumonia (27 [5%] of 568 vs seven [2%] of 403; p=0·012). 3 months after omicron infection, 126 (62%) of 204 survivors with long COVID at 2 years had newly occurring or worse symptoms, which was significantly higher than the proportion in the non-long COVID group (85 [41%] of 205; p<0·0001) and community controls (81 [40%] of 205; p<0·0001), and not significantly different between COVID-19 survivors without long COVID and matched community controls (85 [41%] of 205 vs 81 [39%] of 206; p=0·66). Re-infection was a risk factor for dyspnoea (odds ratio 1·36 [95% CI 1·04 to 1·77]; p=0·023), anxiety or depression (OR 1·65 [1·24 to 2·20]; p=0·0007), EuroQol visual analogue scale score (β -4·51 [-6·08 to -2·95]; p<0·0001), but not for reduced daily activity (0·72 [0·38 to 1·37]; p=0·32) at 3 years. Lung function of survivors at 3 years was similar to that of matched community controls. We found irregular line, traction bronchiectasis, subpleural lines and ground glass opacity at 3 years, but the volume ratio of lung lesion to total lung was only 0·2-0·3%.

INTERPRETATION: Most long COVID symptoms at 3 years were mild to moderate, with lung function recovering to levels of matched controls. Survivors with long COVID had a higher proportion of participants with re-infection and newly occurring or worse symptoms 3 months after omicron infection than those without long COVID. Re-infection had increased symptom occurrence but not increased reduced daily activity. Although the organ function of survivors of COVID-19 recovered over time, those with severe long COVID symptoms, abnormal organ function, or limited mobility require urgent attention in future clinical practice and research.

FUNDING: Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences Innovation Fund for Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Boesl F, Goereci Y, Gerhard A, et al (2023)

Cerebrospinal fluid findings in patients with neurological manifestations in post-COVID-19 syndrome.

Journal of neurology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Information on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) findings in patients with neurological manifestations in post-COVID-19 syndrome is scarce.

METHODS: Retrospective evaluation of 84 CSF samples in patients fulfilling post-COVID-19 criteria in two neurological post-COVID-19 outpatient clinics.

RESULTS: In 68% of samples, all CSF parameters were normal. The most frequent pathological CSF finding was elevation of total protein (median total protein 33.3 mg/dl [total range 18.5-116.2]) in 20 of 83 (24%) samples. The second most prevalent pathological finding was a blood-CSF barrier dysfunction as measured by elevation of QAlb (median QAlb 4.65 [2.4-13.2]) in 11/84 (13%). Pleocytosis was found in only 5/84 (6%) samples and was mild in all of them. CSF-restricted oligoclonal bands were found in 5/83 (6%) samples. Anti-neuronal autoantibodies in CSF were negative in most cases, whilst 12/68 (18%) samples were positive for anti-myelin autoantibodies in serum. PCR for herpesviridae (HSV-1/-2, VZV, EBV, CMV, HHV6) showed, if at all, only weakly positive results in CSF or EDTA whole blood/plasma.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of samples did not show any pathologies. The most frequent findings were elevation of total protein and blood-CSF barrier dysfunction with no signs of intrathecal inflammation. CSF analysis still keeps its value for exclusion of differential diagnoses.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Hikmet RG, Wejse C, J Agergaard (2023)

Effect of Vitamin D in Long COVID Patients.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(22):.

Vitamin D deficiency has been studied in the context of acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), revealing associations with increased severity and mortality. Yet, the influence of vitamin D on long COVID symptoms remains unknown. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of vitamin D on long COVID symptoms. Over the study period, 50,432 individuals within the catchment area of the outpatient COVID-19 clinic tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 via PCR, with 547 patients subsequently referred to a specialized Post-COVID Clinic, and 447 of them enrolled in the study. Patient-reported symptoms and paraclinical measures including vitamin D were evaluated in 442 patients. The majority of participants were female (72%, n = 320/442). The consumption of alcohol and number of current smokers were low. Low vitamin D was observed in 26% (n = 115/442) of the patients, most commonly in male participants (odds ratio (OR) = 1.77, 95% confidence interval (CI) (1.12, 2.79), p = 0.014). Additionally, low vitamin D was correlated with a younger mean age of 41 years (standard deviation (SD) = 12) as opposed to 48 years (SD = 13) in patients with normal vitamin D levels (OR = 0.96, 95% CI (0.94, 0.97), p < 0.001). While our study population indicated a potentially higher prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in this population compared to the general population, no significant differences in prevalence of symptom or symptom severity scores were observed between the low and normal vitamin D groups. In patients in a Post-COVID Clinic, we found no association between vitamin D levels and long COVID symptoms.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Noor M, McGrath O, Drira I, et al (2023)

Retinal Microvasculature Image Analysis Using Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Patients with Post-COVID-19 Syndrome.

Journal of imaging, 9(11):.

Several optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) studies have demonstrated retinal microvascular changes in patients post-SARS-CoV-2 infection, reflecting retinal-systemic microvasculature homology. Post-COVID-19 syndrome (PCS) entails persistent symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this study, we investigated the retinal microvasculature in PCS patients using OCT-angiography and analysed the macular retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) and ganglion cell layer (GCL) thickness via spectral domain-OCT (SD-OCT). Conducted at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, UK, this cross-sectional study compared 40 PCS participants with 40 healthy controls, who underwent ophthalmic assessments, SD-OCT, and OCT-A imaging. OCT-A images from the superficial capillary plexus (SCP) were analysed using an in-house specialised software, OCT-A vascular image analysis (OCTAVIA), measuring the mean large vessel and capillary intensity, vessel density, ischaemia areas, and foveal avascular zone (FAZ) area and circularity. RNFL and GCL thickness was measured using the OCT machine's software. Retinal evaluations occurred at an average of 15.2 ± 6.9 months post SARS-CoV-2 infection in PCS participants. Our findings revealed no significant differences between the PCS and control groups in the OCT-A parameters or RNFL and GCL thicknesses, indicating that no long-term damage ensued in the vascular bed or retinal layers within our cohort, providing a degree of reassurance for PCS patients.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Ziauddeen N, Pantelic M, O'Hara ME, et al (2023)

Impact of long COVID-19 on work: a co-produced survey.

Lancet (London, England), 402 Suppl 1:S98.

BACKGROUND: A proportion of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop post-COVID-19 condition (also known as long COVID), a predominantly multisystem condition resulting in varying degrees of functional disability limiting day-to-day activities. We aimed to describe the impact of long COVID on work.

METHODS: We co-produced baseline and follow-up online surveys with people with lived experience of long COVID (including three of the co-authors). Respondents were aged 18 years and older with self-reported long COVID following confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection who were not hospitalised in the first 2 weeks of illness. The baseline survey was administered in November, 2020, using convenience non-probability sampling through social media. Following informed consent, participants completed a follow-up survey at 1 year (November, 2021). Ethics approval was granted by the University of Southampton.

FINDINGS: Of 2210 invited, 1153 (52%) participants responded to the survey (mean age of 47·7 years [SD 10·6], 965 [84%] female, 1096 [95%] White, and 892 [78%] holding a university degree). 54 participants (4·7%) reported recovery at follow-up. Median duration of illness was 19·8 months (IQR 19·3-20·1) at follow-up. An equal proportion reported being unable to work at baseline (20·4%, n=235) and follow-up (20·6%, n=237). However, a higher proportion reported being made redundant or taking early retirement at follow-up (8·9%, n=102) than at baseline (2·2%, n=25). 209 (18·1%) reported losing or resigning or leaving their job due to long COVID at follow-up compared with 170 (14·8%) participants at baseline. 307 (26·6%) participants reported not taking time off-sick due to long COVID at baseline, decreasing to 122 (10·6%) at follow-up. Of the 656 individuals reporting length of time off-sick, 354 (54%) were off-sick for more than 3 months, with 113 (17·2%) off-sick for more than 12 months. Nearly half (47%, n=538) reported a loss in income.

INTERPRETATION: The convenience non-probability sampling limits generalisability. Research is needed in a representative population sample to characterise the effect on working patterns in people with long COVID, particularly in those with less flexible and more physically demanding occupations who may be less able to take time off to recover.


RevDate: 2023-11-23

Mourelatos P, Vrettou CS, Diamantopoulos A, et al (2023)

A prospective study on endocrine function in patients with long-COVID symptoms.

Hormones (Athens, Greece) [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To investigate hormonal status in patients with long-COVID and explore the interrelationship between hormone levels and long-COVID symptoms.

DESIGN: Prospective observational study.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients who visited our long-COVID outpatients' clinic due to long-COVID symptoms from February 2021 to December 2022.

MEASUREMENTS: Total triiodothyronine, free thyroxine, thyrotropin, thyroglobulin, anti-thyroperoxidase, and antithyroglobulin autoantibodies were measured for thyroid assessment. Other hormones measured were growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), serum cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), total testosterone, plasma insulin, and C-peptide. Blood glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin were also measured. To assess adrenal reserve, an ACTH stimulation test was performed. The fatigue assessment scale (FAS) was used to evaluate fatigue severity.

RESULTS: Eighty-four adult patients were included. Overall, 40.5% of the patients had at least one endocrine disorder. These included prediabetes (21.4%), low DHEA-S (21.4%), subclinical hypothyroidism (3.6%), non-specific thyroid function abnormality (7.1%), thyroid autoimmunity (7.1%), low testosterone in males (6.6%), and low IGF-1 (3.6%). All patients had normal adrenal reserve. Long-COVID-19 symptoms were present in all patients and the most commonly reported symptom was fatigue (89.3%). The FAS score was higher than normal (≥ 22) in 42.8% of patients. There were no associations between patients' symptoms and hormone levels. Diabetic patients reported confusion (p = 0.020) and hair loss (p = 0.040) more often than non-diabetics.

CONCLUSIONS: The evaluation of endocrine function 3 months after a positive SARS-CoV2 test revealed only subclinical syndromes. The vast majority of patients reported mainly fatigue, among other symptoms, which were unrelated, however, to endocrine function.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Sunata K, Miyata J, Terai H, et al (2023)

Asthma is a risk factor for general fatigue of long COVID in Japanese nation-wide cohort study.

Allergology international : official journal of the Japanese Society of Allergology pii:S1323-8930(23)00115-6 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Multiple prolonged symptoms are observed in patients who recover from an acute COVID-19 infection, which is defined as long COVID. General fatigue is frequently observed in patients with long COVID during acute and post-acute phases. This study aimed to identify the specific risk factors for general fatigue in long COVID.

METHODS: Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 aged over 18 years were enrolled in a multicenter cohort study at 26 medical institutions. Clinical data during hospitalization and patient-reported outcomes after discharge were collected from medical records, paper-based questionnaires, and smartphone apps.

RESULTS: Among prolonged symptoms through 1-year follow-ups, general fatigue was the most interfering symptom in daily life. Patients with protracted fatigue at all follow-up periods had lower quality of life scores at the 12-month follow-up. Univariate logistic regression analysis of the presence or absence of general fatigue at the 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month follow-ups identified asthma, younger age, and female sex as risk factors for prolonged fatigue. Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that asthma was an independent risk factor for persistent fatigue during the 12-month follow-up period. Longitudinal changes in the symptoms of patients with or without asthma demonstrated that general fatigue, not cough and dyspnea, was significantly prolonged in patients with asthma.

CONCLUSIONS: In a Japanese population with long COVID, prolonged general fatigue was closely linked to asthma. A preventive approach against COVID-19 is necessary to avoid sustained fatigue and minimize social and economic losses in patients with asthma.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Elmunzer BJ, Palsson OS, Forbes N, et al (2023)

Prolonged gastrointestinal manifestations after recovery from COVID-19.

Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology : the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association pii:S1542-3565(23)00947-3 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Acute enteric infections are well known to result in long-term gastrointestinal disorders. While COVID-19 is principally a respiratory illness, it demonstrates significant gastrointestinal tropism, possibly predisposing to prolonged gut manifestations. We aimed to examine the long-term gastrointestinal impact of hospitalization with COVID-19.

METHODS: Nested within a large-scale observational cohort study of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 across North America, we performed a follow-up survey of 530 survivors 12-18 months later to assess for persistent GI symptoms and their severity, and for the development of disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBIs). Eligible patients were identified at the study site level and surveyed electronically. The survey instrument included the Rome IV Diagnostic Questionnaire for Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction, a rating scale of 24 COVID-related symptoms, the Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale (GSRS), and the Impact of Events-Revised (IES-R) trauma symptom questionnaire (a measure of post-traumatic stress associated with the illness experience). A regression analysis was performed to explore the factors associated with GI symptom severity at follow-up.

RESULTS: Of the 530 invited patients, 116 responded (52.6% females; mean age 55.2 years), and 73 of those (60.3%) met criteria for one or more Rome IV DGBI at follow-up, higher than the prevalence in the US general population (p<0.0001). Among patients who experienced COVID-related GI symptoms during the index hospitalization (abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea), 42.1% retained at least one of these symptoms at follow up; in comparison, 89.8% of respondents retained any (GI or non-GI) COVID-related symptom. The number of moderate or severe GI symptoms experienced during the initial COVID-19 illness by self-report correlated with the development of DGBI and severity of GI symptoms at follow-up. Post-traumatic stress disorder (IES-R score > 33) related to the COVID-19 illness experience was identified in 41.4% of respondents and those individuals had higher DGBI prevalence and GI symptom severity. Regression analysis revealed that higher psychological trauma score (IES-R) was the strongest predictor of GI symptom severity at follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: In this follow-up survey of patients 12-18 months after hospitalization with COVID-19, there was a high prevalence of DGBIs and persistent GI symptoms. Prolonged gastrointestinal manifestations were associated with the severity of GI symptoms during hospitalization and with the degree of psychological trauma related to the illness experience.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Tudor L, Harenwall S, Henderson R, et al (2023)

Post-covid-19 syndrome: Self-compassion and psychological flexibility moderate the relationship between physical symptom load and psychosocial impact.

Acta psychologica, 241:104093 pii:S0001-6918(23)00269-X [Epub ahead of print].

Living with persistent physical symptoms of an acute COVID-19 infection has a substantial impact on individuals' everyday lives. The identification of potential therapeutic targets for Post-COVID-19 Syndrome (PCS) or "Long-COVID" that can be utilised to reduce the impact of symptoms, is necessary to support effective rehabilitation. Self-compassion and psychological flexibility are thought to be important constructs to consider when understanding how individuals approach the management of long-term health challenges. The present study investigated the extent to which self-compassion and psychological flexibility moderate the relationship between physical symptoms and their impact on daily life. One-hundred and five participants (91 females) who were living with PCS after an acute COVID-19 infection, completed measures to assess PCS physical symptom prevalence as well as measures to assess impact on daily life, self-compassion and psychological flexibility. Two parallel moderation analyses showed that self-compassion and psychological flexibility significantly moderated the relationships between physical symptom presentation and their psychosocial impact. This research highlights the buffering effects of self-compassion and psychological flexibility and the need to consider these psychological therapeutic targets, as part of PCS multidisciplinary rehabilitation.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Pérez-López FR, Blümel JE, Vallejo MS, et al (2023)

Anxiety but not menopausal status influences the risk of long-COVID-19 syndrome in women living in Latin America.

Maturitas, 180:107873 pii:S0378-5122(23)00479-6 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: To study sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with the long-COVID-19 syndrome among women living in Latin American countries using undirected and directed methods.

METHOD: We studied 347 patients with COVID-19 (confirmed by polymerase chain reaction) living in nine Latin American countries between May 2021 and July 2022, including 70 premenopausal, 48 perimenopausal, and 229 postmenopausal women. We compared the sociodemographic and general health information of women with (n = 164) and without (n = 183) the long-COVID-19 syndrome. They also completed the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale, the Jenkins Sleep Scale, and the Menopause Rating Scale to define the minimum set of variables for adjustment. We designed a directed acyclic graph (DAG) to identify factors related to the long-COVID-19 syndrome. Data were submitted to categorical logistic regression analyses. Results are reported as means and standard deviations or β-coefficients and 95 % confidence intervals.

RESULTS: Women with long-COVID-19 syndrome had a poor lifestyle, severe menopause symptoms, hypertension, insomnia, depression, anxiety, chronic diseases/conditions, risk of hospitalization, sleep disturbance, and low menopause-related quality of life compared to women without the syndrome. The DAG identified the following long-COVID-19 covariates: age, obesity, anxiety, depression, cancer, lifestyle, smoking, and menstrual status. A multivariable logistic model with these covariates indicated that anxiety is the only factor to be significantly associated with long-COVID-19 syndrome, whereas other covariates were confounding factors. There was no significant influence of menopausal status on the long-COVID-19 syndrome.

CONCLUSION: Among factors selected by the DAG, only anxiety was significantly associated with the long-COVID-19. There was no significant influence of the menopause status on the long-COVID-19 syndrome in the studied population.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Fatima S, Ismail M, Ejaz T, et al (2023)

Association between long COVID and vaccination: A 12-month follow-up study in a low- to middle-income country.

PloS one, 18(11):e0294780.

OBJECTIVE: There is a lack of estimates regarding the at-risk population associated with long COVID in Pakistan due to the absence of prospective longitudinal studies. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of long COVID and its association with disease severity and vaccination status of the patient.

DESIGN AND DATA SOURCES: This prospective cohort study was conducted at the Aga Khan University Hospital and recruited patients aged > 18 years who were admitted between February 1 and June 7, 2021. During this time, 901 individuals were admitted, after excluding patients with missing data, a total of 481 confirmed cases were enrolled.

RESULTS: The mean age of the study population was 56.9±14.3 years. Among patients with known vaccination status (n = 474), 19%(n = 90) and 19.2%(n = 91) were fully and partially vaccinated, respectively. Severe/critical disease was present in 64%(n = 312). The mortality rate following discharge was 4.58%(n = 22). Around 18.9%(n = 91) of the population required readmission to the hospital, with respiratory failure (31.8%, n = 29) as the leading cause. Long COVID symptoms were present in 29.9%(n = 144), and these symptoms were more prevalent in the severe/critical (35.5%, n = 111) and unvaccinated (37.9%, n = 105) cohort. The most prominent symptoms were fatigue (26.2%, n = 126) and shortness of breath (24.1%, n = 116), followed by cough (15.2%, n = 73). Vaccinated as compared to unvaccinated patients had lower readmissions (13.8% vs. 21.51%) and post-COVID pulmonary complications (15.4% vs. 24.2%). On multivariable analysis, after adjusting for age, gender, co-morbidity, and disease severity, lack of vaccination was found to be an independent predictor of long COVID with an Odds ratio of 2.42(95% CI 1.52-3.84). Fully and partially vaccinated patients had 62% and 56% reduced risk of developing long COVID respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reports that the patients continued to have debilitating symptoms related to long COVID, one year after discharge, and most of its effects were observed in patients with severe/critical disease and unvaccinated patients.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Ivantsov K, Lim V, Kukes I, et al (2023)


Georgian medical news.

Purpose of the study - to characterize the metabolomic profile in patients with fatigue developing within the Long COVID, during dynamic observation. 24 patients diagnosed with U09.9 "Condition after COVID-19 unspecified" were included in a prospective study. Patients were recommended to engage in physical activity, which included moderate aerobic activity such as walking for 45 minutes a day, three days a week. Clinical assessment by scales (Modified Medical Research Council dyspnea scale; 6-minute walk test; Multidimensional fatigue inventory scale; Barthel index), and determination of metabolomic parameters were performed on days 1 and 14-18 of the study. During the observation period, lactate, fumaric acid, symmetrical dimethylarginine, asymmetric dimethylarginine remained above the reference values. The level of adipic acid returns to normal values. As a result of performing physical activity, such as walking, results on the Modified Medical Research Council scale dyspnea scale, Multidimensional fatigue inventory scale, 6 Minutes Walking Test and Barthel Index improve (p<0,001). Metabolic profile of patients with Long COVID demonstrates the complex of abnormalities at 60 days after the onset of the disease. These metabolic changes are point to possible therapeutic targets for specific pathogenetic pharmacotherapy.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Thors V, Bjornsdottir KL, Love TJ, et al (2023)

Long COVID in Icelandic Children: A Matched Cohort Study of Nonspecific Symptoms Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection.

The Pediatric infectious disease journal pii:00006454-990000000-00651 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: Pediatric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections are usually mild and the mortality rates are low, but concerns have been raised about long-term symptoms that may resemble other postinfectious syndromes. Studies with robust control groups and high response rates have been few.

METHODS: We obtained identifiers for all 837 Icelandic children diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 by PCR between March 2020 and June 2021 and contacted them by telephone. We asked about 10 physical and mental symptoms being present at least twice weekly for at least 2 months. Participants who reported symptoms were contacted again a year later. For each subject who completed the questionnaire, an age- and sex-matched comparator without SARS-CoV-2 infection was asked to complete the same questionnaire, and the risk difference was calculated.

RESULTS: Responses from 643 cases and 602 comparators were analyzed. Children who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 were more likely to report one or more symptoms, except for anxiety/depression and sleep disturbances. Fatigue and loss of concentration were evidently more common in cases among teenagers (risk difference: 15%; 95% CI: 7-22% and 15%; 95% CI: 7-23%, respectively). At the second follow-up, close to a third of Long COVID cases had resolved but some participants had developed new persistent symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Symptoms of Long COVID in children are common and impact their quality of life. The importance of further unraveling the pathophysiology of acute and long-term symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 infection in children is vital as well as potential preventive measures.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Al-Mohammad A, AL Kyriacou (2023)

Sinus tachycardia and long-COVID: An opportunity in the challenge.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Nugawela MD, Pinto Pereira SM, Rojas NK, et al (2023)

Data Resource Profile: the Children and Young People with Long COVID (CLoCk) Study.

International journal of epidemiology pii:7440257 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Calabrese LH, PJ Mease (2023)

Improving the nosology of Long COVID: it is not so simple.

Annals of the rheumatic diseases pii:ard-2023-224844 [Epub ahead of print].

Long COVID is a diagnostic label currently given to those suffering from a poorly understood state of incomplete recovery or who have development of a myriad of medically unexplained symptoms occurring in the wake of infection with SARS CoV-2 that is both poorly understood and controversial. Many of the features of one of the most common clinical endotypes of Long COVID are shared by a condition well familiar to all rheumatologists and one with a large body of epidemiologic, clinical and basic research accrued over many decades namely the syndrome of fibromyalgia. Some have recently suggested that Long COVID may merely be a new name for fibromyalgia and that this diagnosis is indeed the condition that many or most may be suffering from as a post infectious sequela. In this Viewpoint we argue that while the parallels between the clinical syndrome experienced by many of those currently labeled as Long COVID and fibromyalgia are strong we should be not too quick to rename the disorder. We further argue that relabeling Long COVID as fibromyalgia is clinically reductionistic and any such relabeling may be attended by harm in both the design and execution of a future research agenda as well to patients who may be inadvertently and unfortunately pejoritised by such labeling. We further explore the parallels and differences between Long COVID and fibromyalgia and outline areas of needed future research and care.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

McOwat K, Pinto Pereira SM, Nugawela MD, et al (2023)

The CLoCk study: A retrospective exploration of loneliness in children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic, in England.

PloS one, 18(11):e0294165.

BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic children and young people (CYP) were socially restricted during a stage of life crucial to development, potentially putting an already vulnerable population at higher risk of loneliness, social isolation, and poorer wellbeing. The objectives of this study are to conduct an exploratory analysis into loneliness before and during the pandemic, and determine which self-reported factors are associated with loneliness.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Participants from The Children with Long COVID (CLoCk) national study were invited to take part via an online survey, with a total of 31,017 participants taking part, 31,016 of which reported on their experience of loneliness. Participants retrospectively answered questions on demographics, lifestyle, physical health and mental health and loneliness before the pandemic and at the time of answering the survey. Before the pandemic 6.5% (2,006/31,016) of participants reported experiencing loneliness "Often/Always" and at the time of survey completion 17.4% (5,395/31,016) reported feeling lonelier. There was an association between meeting the research definition of long COVID and loneliness [3.49 OR, 95%CI 3.28-3.72]. CYP who reported feeling lonelier at the time of the survey than before the pandemic were assigned female at birth, older CYP, those from Black/African/Caribbean/Black British or other ethnicity groups, those that had 3-4 siblings and lived in more deprived areas.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate associations between multiple factors and experiences of loneliness during the pandemic. There is a need for a multi-faceted integrated approach when developing interventions targeted at loneliness. It is important to follow up the CYP involved at regular intervals to investigate the progression of their experience of loneliness over time.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Buck AM, Deitchman AN, Takahashi S, et al (2023)

The breadth of the neutralizing antibody response to original SARS-CoV-2 infection is linked to the presence of Long COVID symptoms.

Journal of medical virology, 95(11):e29216.

The associations between longitudinal dynamics and the breadth of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody (nAb) response with various Long COVID phenotypes before vaccination are not known. The capacity of antibodies to cross-neutralize a variety of viral variants may be associated with ongoing pathology and persistent symptoms. We measured longitudinal neutralizing and cross-neutralizing antibody responses to pre- and post-SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants in participants infected early in the COVID-19 pandemic, before widespread rollout of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Cross-sectional regression models adjusted for clinical covariates and longitudinal mixed-effects models were used to determine the impact of the breadth and rate of decay of neutralizing responses on the development of Long COVID symptoms, as well as Long COVID phenotypes. We identified several novel relationships between SARS-CoV-2 antibody neutralization and the presence of Long COVID symptoms. Specifically, we show that, although nAb responses to the original, infecting strain of SARS-CoV-2 were not associated with Long COVID in cross-sectional analyses, cross-neutralization ID50 levels to the Omicron BA.5 variant approximately 4 months following acute infection was independently and significantly associated with greater odds of Long COVID and with persistent gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms. Longitudinal modeling demonstrated significant associations in the overall levels and rates of decay of neutralization capacity with Long COVID phenotypes. A higher proportion of participants had antibodies capable of neutralizing Omicron BA.5 compared with BA.1 or XBB.1.5 variants. Our findings suggest that relationships between various immune responses and Long COVID are likely complex but may involve the breadth of antibody neutralization responses.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Sánchez-García JC, Reinoso-Cobo A, Piqueras-Sola B, et al (2023)

Long COVID and Physical Therapy: A Systematic Review.

Diseases (Basel, Switzerland), 11(4): pii:diseases11040163.

Prolonged COVID is a persistent condition following the initial COVID-19 infection, which is characterized by a variety of symptoms that may include fatigue, muscle pain, sleep disturbances, "brain fog", respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, neurological and dermatological symptoms. Physical therapy has been identified as a crucial aspect of the management of patients with long COVID, as it can help improve symptoms and overall physical function. The investigation of long COVID poses significant challenges due to the diversity and variability of symptoms, lack of clear diagnostic criteria, and limited understanding of the underlying mechanisms. The aim of this study is to conduct a systematic review of studies conducted in patients with long COVID in conjunction with interventions targeting respiratory function, particularly involving physical activity. To this end, we conducted a systematic review to analyze studies conducted on treatment programs for long COVID based on some form of physical activity. The protocol of the review was registered in the PROSPERO website, and the databases PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL and WOS were searched. Of the 62 initial articles, six were included in the review. The results obtained have positive implications for the advancement of physical activity as a therapeutic intervention for individuals with long COVID-19 and the conceptualization of evidence-based treatment protocols. Statistically significant results have been observed in studies of at least 6 weeks duration, in which inspiratory muscle training exercises are proposed. Further research is needed to better understand long COVID and develop effective treatment strategies.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Menzler K, Mayr P, Knake S, et al (2023)

Undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea syndrome as a treatable cause of new-onset sleepiness in some post-COVID patients.

European journal of neurology [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Infection with COVID-19 can lead to persistent sequelae, such as fatigue, daytime sleepiness or disturbed sleep, that can remain for more than 12 weeks and that are summarized as post-COVID syndrome. The causes remain unclear. The present study investigated the presence of sleep disorders in patients with post-COVID syndrome using polysomnography.

METHODS: Thirty-four patients with post-COVID syndrome and new-onset fatigue and sleepiness after a SARS-CoV2 infection underwent polysomnography in accordance with American Association of Sleep Medicine (AASM) standards as part of their clinical workup. Analysis was performed visually based on AASM criteria (scoring manual version 2.6, 2020).

RESULTS: Polysomnography revealed a sleep efficiency of <80% in 50% of patients and a mean respiratory disturbance index (RDI) of 9.9 ± 15.4/h. Excluding central apneas, 12 patients (35%) had an RDI of ≥5/h, pointing to obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS; AASM 2014). Patients with a high RDI were significantly older (p = 0.01) and showed a trend towards a higher body mass index (p = 0.08) than patients with a normal RDI but had no other risk factors for OSAS. Six patients agreed to long-term treatment of their OSAS and all reported discontinuation of daytime symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Post-COVID symptoms such as daytime sleepiness, fatigue and memory and concentration problems may in part be a result of reduced sleep efficiency and sleep apnea in a relevant percentage of patients. This possibly treatable cause of the symptoms should be kept in mind in patients presenting with post-COVID syndrome.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Tufts J, Guan N, Zemedikun DT, et al (2023)

The cost of primary care consultations associated with long COVID in non-hospitalised adults: a retrospective cohort study using UK primary care data.

BMC primary care, 24(1):245.

BACKGROUND: The economic impact of managing long COVID in primary care is unknown. We estimated the costs of primary care consultations associated with long COVID and explored the relationship between risk factors and costs.

METHODS: Data were obtained on non-hospitalised adults from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Aurum primary care database. We used propensity score matching with an incremental cost method to estimate additional primary care consultation costs associated with long COVID (12 weeks after COVID-19) at an individual and UK national level. We applied multivariable regression models to estimate the association between risk factors and consultations costs beyond 12 weeks from acute COVID-19.

RESULTS: Based on an analysis of 472,173 patients with COVID-19 and 472,173 unexposed individuals, the annual incremental cost of primary care consultations associated with long COVID was £2.44 per patient and £23,382,452 at the national level. Among patients with COVID-19, a long COVID diagnosis and reporting of longer-term symptoms were associated with a 43% and 44% increase in primary care consultation costs respectively, compared to patients without long COVID symptoms. Older age, female sex, obesity, being from a white ethnic group, comorbidities and prior consultation frequency were all associated with increased primary care consultation costs.

CONCLUSIONS: The costs of primary care consultations associated with long COVID in non-hospitalised adults are substantial. Costs are significantly higher among those diagnosed with long COVID, those with long COVID symptoms, older adults, females, and those with obesity and comorbidities.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Sievers BL, Cheng MTK, Csiba K, et al (2023)

SARS-CoV-2 and innate immunity: the good, the bad, and the "goldilocks".

Cellular & molecular immunology [Epub ahead of print].

An ancient conflict between hosts and pathogens has driven the innate and adaptive arms of immunity. Knowledge about this interplay can not only help us identify biological mechanisms but also reveal pathogen vulnerabilities that can be leveraged therapeutically. The humoral response to SARS-CoV-2 infection has been the focus of intense research, and the role of the innate immune system has received significantly less attention. Here, we review current knowledge of the innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the various means SARS-CoV-2 employs to evade innate defense systems. We also consider the role of innate immunity in SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and in the phenomenon of long COVID.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Pietrzak-Franger M (2023)

Postdigital health practices: new directions in medical humanities.

Medical humanities pii:medhum-2023-012611 [Epub ahead of print].

Digitalisation has changed the way we understand and practice health. The recent pandemic has accelerated some of the developments in digital health and brought about modifications in public access to information. Taking this into consideration, this programmatic paper sets the stage for and conceptualises postdigital health practices as a possible field of inquiry within medical humanities. While delineating some central aspects of said practices, I draw attention to their significance in contemporary strategies of knowledge production. Spotlighting online environments as the point of ingress for the analysis of these practices, I propose three possible foci of critical and methodological engagement. By spotlighting the serialisation, multimodality, and transmediality of such environments, I argue, we have a chance to both augment and go beyond the field's long-standing preoccupation with narrative, attend to various strategies of communicating illness experience, and re-frame them within larger questions of systemic inequalities. On this basis, and taking as examples COVID-19 and Long COVID, I sketch some of the directions that future strands of medical humanities may take and some of the questions we still have to ask for the field to overcome its own biases and blind spots.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Nys E, Pauwels S, Ádám B, et al (2023)

Recognition of COVID-19 with occupational origin: a comparison between European countries.

Occupational and environmental medicine pii:oemed-2022-108726 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to present an overview of the formal recognition of COVID-19 as occupational disease (OD) or injury (OI) across Europe.

METHODS: A COVID-19 questionnaire was designed by a task group within COST-funded OMEGA-NET and sent to occupational health experts of 37 countries in WHO European region, with a last update in April 2022.

RESULTS: The questionnaire was filled out by experts from 35 countries. There are large differences between national systems regarding the recognition of OD and OI: 40% of countries have a list system, 57% a mixed system and one country an open system. In most countries, COVID-19 can be recognised as an OD (57%). In four countries, COVID-19 can be recognised as OI (11%) and in seven countries as either OD or OI (20%). In two countries, there is no recognition possible to date. Thirty-two countries (91%) recognise COVID-19 as OD/OI among healthcare workers. Working in certain jobs is considered proof of occupational exposure in 25 countries, contact with a colleague with confirmed infection in 19 countries, and contact with clients with confirmed infection in 21 countries. In most countries (57%), a positive PCR test is considered proof of disease. The three most common compensation benefits for COVID-19 as OI/OD are disability pension, treatment and rehabilitation. Long COVID is included in 26 countries.

CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 can be recognised as OD or OI in 94% of the European countries completing this survey, across different social security and embedded occupational health systems.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Njøten KL, Espehaug B, Magnussen LH, et al (2023)

Relationship between exercise capacity and fatigue, dyspnea, and lung function in non-hospitalized patients with long COVID.

Physiological reports, 11(22):e15850.

Long COVID is a global health problem that impairs patients' functional status. More than 200 reported symptoms have been identified where fatigue, dyspnea, and exercise impairment are most common. This study aimed to describe exercise capacity, fatigue, dyspnea, and lung function in previously non-hospitalized patients with long COVID, and examine the relationship between exercise capacity and fatigue, dyspnea, and lung function. Sixty-five patients, 54 women (83%), mean age of 39 standard deviation (12) years, were included and completed spirometry, cardiopulmonary exercise test, stair climbing test (SCT), 30 second sit-to-stand test (30STST), and questionnaires regarding fatigue and dyspnea. Fatigue was reported by 95% of the participants, whereas 65% reported severe fatigue, and 66% reported dyspnea. Mean exercise capacity measured with peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak % pred.) was ≥85% in 65% of the participants. Mean forced expiratory volume in 1 s. and forced vital capacity were 96.6 (10.7)% and 100.8 (10.9)%, respectively, while reduced diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) was found in eight participants (13%). Reduced V̇O2peak kg[-1] and increased time on SCT were significantly associated with increased dyspnea and reduced DLCO but not with fatigue, while 30STST was associated with increased fatigue and dyspnea in previously non-hospitalized patients with long COVID.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Lladós G, Massanella M, Coll-Fernández R, et al (2023)

Vagus Nerve Dysfunction in the Post-COVID-19 Condition: a pilot cross sectional study.

Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases pii:S1198-743X(23)00565-7 [Epub ahead of print].

OBJECTIVE: The post-COVID-19 condition (PCC) is a disabling syndrome affecting at least 5-10% of subjects who survive COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 mediated vagus nerve dysfunction could explain some PCC symptoms, including dysphonia, dysphagia, dyspnea, dizziness, tachycardia, orthostatic hypotension, gastrointestinal disturbances or neurocognitive complaints.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional pilot study in subjects with PCC with symptoms suggesting vagus nerve dysfunction (n=30) and compared to subjects fully recovered from acute COVID-19 (n=14) and individuals never infected (n=16). We evaluated the structure and function of the vagus nerve and evaluated the structure and function of respiratory muscles.

RESULTS: Participants were mostly women (24/30, 80%), the median age was n 44 years [interquartile range (IQR) 35-51 years]. Their most prevalent symptoms were cognitive dysfunction 25/30 (83%), dyspnea 24/30 (80%) and tachycardia 24/30 (80%). Compared with COVID-19-recovered and uninfected controls, respectively, subjects with PCC were more likely to show thickening and hyperechogenic vagus nerve in neck ultrasounds (cross-sectional area (CSA) (mean ± SD): 2.4 ± 0.97mm2 vs. 2 ± 0.52mm2 vs. 1.9 ± 0.73 mm2, p=0.08), reduced esophageal-gastric-intestinal peristalsis (34% vs 0% vs 21%, p=0.02), gastroesophageal reflux (34% vs 19% vs 7%, p=0.13), and hiatal hernia (25% vs 0% vs 7%, p=0.05). Subjects with PCC showed flattening hemidiaphragms (47% vs 6% vs 14%, p=0.007), and reductions in maximum inspiratory pressure (62% vs. 6% vs. 17%, p ≤0.001), indicating respiratory muscle weakness. The latter findings suggest additional involvement of the phrenic nerve.

CONCLUSION: Vagus and phrenic nerve dysfunction contribute to the complex and multifactorial pathophysiology of PCC.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Magklara K, M Kyriakopoulos (2023)

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people.

March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic and youth worldwide were suddenly confronted with unprecedented consequences. The first line of concern was related to the direct effect of SARS-CoV-2 viral infection. While severe physical health symptomatology including death following infection was found to be less common in children than in adults (Chua et al, 2021), long-COVID has been identified in the pediatric population with the most prevalent manifestations involving mood symptoms, sleep difficulties and fatigue (Lopez-Leon et al, 2022). Secondly, the measures against COVID-19 carried their own set of risks. Many governments imposed national lockdowns, schools closed, remote learning started operating and social distancing measures prevented families from visiting public places or meeting people from other households. Isolation, disruption of everyday routines, and a sharp and dramatic decrease in physical activity and social interaction levels became the new reality experienced by children and adolescents of all age groups (Wang et al, 2020). Cross-sectional community studies on children and adolescents conducted early in the course of the pandemic indicated elevated levels of loneliness, anxiety, and behavioral problems in youth samples, even during the initial phases of the outbreak (Zhou et al, 2020). Systematic reviews of mainly cross-sectional studies that followed indicated a significant rise in clinically significant anxiety and depression symptoms among children and adolescents compared to pre-pandemic levels (Racine et al, 2021) and high prevalence estimates for depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress symptomatology and sleep disorders (Ma et al, 2021). A recent systematic review that included data of 55,000 children and adolescents from many countries of the world (mean age 11.3 years) reported that anxiety (range = 1.8-49.5%), depression (range = 2.2-63.8%), irritability (range = 16.7-73.2%) and anger (range = 30.0-51.3%) were frequently reported by children and adolescents during the pandemic (Panchal et al, 2023). However, the experience of the pandemic was not homogenous among all youth. Possible risk factors included the presence of mental health problems before the pandemic, excessive exposure to media, and high COVID-19 case load in the community, while the presence of any kind of family routines and good parent - child communication was identified as a protective factor (Panchal et al, 2023). Females and older adolescents were also reported to be at greater risk for adverse mental health outcomes. In most countries, the spread of the infection, on one hand, and the enforcement of lockdowns and other containment measures, on the other, have put health care under tremendous pressure, leaving families with children with mental health disorders with minimal or inadequate support. Nevertheless, differences were also observed within the group of children with psychiatric or developmental disorders diagnosed before the pandemic. Numerous studies that have investigated the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures on children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders reported a significant increase in parental-stress, as well as high levels of anxiety, irritability, hyperactivity, stereotypical behavior, and other behavioral problems among children and adolescents (Milea-Milea et al, 2023). Further studies that investigated the issue of neurodevelopmental disorders showed that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately and adversely affected children with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with a recent meta-analysis pointing to a global increase in ADHD symptoms (Rogers et al, 2023). Finally, early concerns about a possible significant increase in suicidality among youth during the pandemic were followed by contradicting findings from relevant studies. On the whole, though, it is suggested that during the pandemic, as previously, higher rates of suicidal ideation than of suicidal behaviors and suicide events were reported among children and adolescents (Bersia et al, 2023). Similar patterns of mental health difficulties to those described above have also been identified in youth in Greece. During the early stages of the pandemic one-third (35.1%) of the parents reported that their child's psychological health was considerably affected (Magklara et al, 2023), while a study of final-year high-school students found that the rates of severe depression and anxiety increased significantly during the lockdown (Giannopoulou et al, 2020). Among children and adolescents with pre-existing mental health problems from different parts of the country, no change was found in mood states scores pre- and post-pandemic onset, while several of their daily behaviors worsened during the lockdown, such as reduced sleep or time spent outdoors (Magklara et al, 2022). Such research findings related to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic and its containment measures should guide the follow up of children and young people affected by it and inform the design of effective health strategies and policies in the post-pandemic era with the aim to prevent and mitigate further mental health crises.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Spiliopoulos L, Sørensen AIV, Bager P, et al (2023)

Post-acute symptoms 4 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection during the Omicron period: a nationwide Danish questionnaire study.

American journal of epidemiology pii:7425620 [Epub ahead of print].

Post-acute symptoms are not uncommon after SARS-CoV-2 infection with pre-Omicron variants. How Omicron and COVID-19 booster vaccination influence the risk of post-acute symptoms is less clear. We analyzed data from the nationwide Danish questionnaire study EFTER-COVID comprising 44,553 individuals ≥15 years old, tested between July 2021 and January 2022, in order to evaluate the association of the Omicron variant and COVID-19 booster vaccination with post-acute symptoms and new-onset general health problems, four months after infection with SARS-CoV-2. Risk differences (RDs) were estimated by comparing Omicron -cases to controls, Omicron to Delta -cases, and Omicron vaccinated cases with three to -two doses, adjusted for age, sex, BMI, self-reported chronic diseases, Charlson comorbidity index, healthcare occupation, and vaccination status. Four months after testing for SARS-CoV-2 during the Omicron period, cases experienced substantial post-acute symptoms and new-onset health problems compared to controls; the largest RD was observed for memory issues (RD=7.2%, 95%CI: 6.4 to 8.1). However, risks were generally lower than in the Delta period, particularly for dysosmia (RD=-15.0%, 95%CI: -17.0 to -13.2) and dysgeusia (RD=-11.2%, 95%CI: -13.2 to -9.5). Booster vaccination was associated with fewer post-acute symptoms and new-onset health problems, four months after Omicron infection, compared to two COVID-19 vaccine doses.

RevDate: 2023-11-20
CmpDate: 2023-11-20

Kostka K, Roel E, Trinh NTH, et al (2023)

"The burden of post-acute COVID-19 symptoms in a multinational network cohort analysis".

Nature communications, 14(1):7449.

Persistent symptoms following the acute phase of COVID-19 present a major burden to both the affected and the wider community. We conducted a cohort study including over 856,840 first COVID-19 cases, 72,422 re-infections and more than 3.1 million first negative-test controls from primary care electronic health records from Spain and the UK (Sept 2020 to Jan 2022 (UK)/March 2022 (Spain)). We characterised post-acute COVID-19 symptoms and identified key symptoms associated with persistent disease. We estimated incidence rates of persisting symptoms in the general population and among COVID-19 patients over time. Subsequently, we investigated which WHO-listed symptoms were particularly differential by comparing their frequency in COVID-19 cases vs. matched test-negative controls. Lastly, we compared persistent symptoms after first infections vs. reinfections.Our study shows that the proportion of COVID-19 cases affected by persistent post-acute COVID-19 symptoms declined over the study period. Risk for altered smell/taste was consistently higher in patients with COVID-19 vs test-negative controls. Persistent symptoms were more common after reinfection than following a first infection. More research is needed into the definition of long COVID, and the effect of interventions to minimise the risk and impact of persistent symptoms.

RevDate: 2023-11-18

Ozawa T, Kimura R, Terai H, et al (2023)

Calcium channel blockers may reduce the development of long COVID in females.

Hypertension research : official journal of the Japanese Society of Hypertension [Epub ahead of print].

With the rising numbers of patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, long coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-a sequelae of COVID-19-has become a major problem. Different sexes and age groups develop different long COVID symptoms, and the risk factors for long COVID remain unclear. Therefore, we performed subgroup analyses of patients with COVID-19, classifying them into different groups. In this multicenter cohort study, using an original questionnaire, we examined patients (≥18 years old) diagnosed with COVID-19 from November 2020 to March 2022 and hospitalized at participating medical facilities. In total, 1066 patients were registered (361 female, 620 male). Hypertension was the most common comorbidity (n = 344; 32.5%). Females with hypertension were significantly less likely to develop long COVID symptoms than those without hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.27-0.98; p = 0.043). In females, Ca channel blocker administration, rather than having hypertension, was significantly associated with reductions in the frequency of alopecia (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03-0.67, p = 0.015), memory impairment (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.02-0.82, p = 0.029), sleeping disorders (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04-0.67, p = 0.012), tinnitus (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.05-0.98, p = 0.047), sputum (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.10-0.92, p = 0.035), and fever (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.12-0.93, p = 0.036). Several long COVID symptoms, including alopecia, were significantly negatively associated with Ca channel-blocker administration in female patients with long COVID. Calcium channel blockers may reduce the development of long COVID in females.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Rimmer A (2023)

Clinicians with long covid must get financial support, say unions.

BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 383:p2723.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Peluso MJ, Swank ZN, Goldberg SA, et al (2023)

Plasma-based antigen persistence in the post-acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

medRxiv : the preprint server for health sciences.

BACKGROUND: Although RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 are generally thought to be transient, the persistence of viral components beyond the acute phase can be driven by a variety of virologic and immunologic factors. Recent studies have suggested that SARS-CoV-2 antigens may persist following COVID-19 but were limited by a lack of comparison to a large number of true negative control samples.

METHODS: Using single molecule array (Simoa) assays for SARS-CoV-2 spike, S1, and nucleocapsid antigen in plasma from 171 pandemic-era individuals in the post-acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection and 250 pre-pandemic control samples, we compared prevalence of antigen detection. We used logistic regression models and prevalence ratios (PRs) to assess the relationship between demographic and disease factors and antigen persistence.

RESULTS: Compared to the proportion of antigen positivity in the pre-pandemic controls (2%), detection of any SARS-CoV-2 antigen was more frequent across all post-acute COVID-19 time bins (3-6 months: 12.6%, p<0.001; 6-10 months, 10.7%, p=0.0002; 10-14 months, 7.5%, p=0.017). These differences were driven by spike protein for up to 14 months and nucleocapsid in the first 6 months after infection. The co-occurrence of multiple antigens at a single timepoint was uncommon. Hospitalization for acute COVID-19 (versus not hospitalized) and worse self-reported health during acute COVID-19 among those not hospitalized (versus more benign illness) were associated with higher prevalence of post-acute antigen detection (PR 1.86, p=0.03; PR 3.5, p=0.07, respectively) in the pandemic era.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide strong evidence that SARS-CoV-2 antigens can persist beyond the period of acute illness. The observation that more than 10% of plasma samples for over a year following initial SARS-CoV-2 infection contain detectable viral antigen, which are potentially immunogenic, has significant implications given the sheer number of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 to date. More work will be needed to determine whether these antigens have a causal role in post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC).

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Bai J, J Wang (2023)

Modeling long COVID dynamics: Impact of underlying health conditions.

Journal of theoretical biology pii:S0022-5193(23)00266-7 [Epub ahead of print].

We propose a new mathematical model to investigate the population dynamics of long COVID, with a focus on the impact of chronic health conditions. Our model connects long COVID with the transmission of COVID-19 so as to accurately predict the prevalence of long COVID from the progression of the infection in the host population. The model additionally incorporates the effects of COVID-19 vaccination. We implement the model with data from both the US and the UK to demonstrate the real-world applications of this modeling framework.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Stephens MD, Gazmararian JA, A Khakharia (2023)

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 Among United States Veterans.

Annals of epidemiology pii:S1047-2797(23)00213-2 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: To better understand Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) in the Veteran population, this study aims to determine the prevalence of PASC and identify risk factors associated with its development.

METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included 363,825 Veterans that tested positive for COVID-19 between February 1, 2020, and September 30, 2022. The primary outcome was the development of PASC 30 to 180 days following an acute infection with SARS-CoV-2. Multivariate logistic regression was utilized to examine factors associated with PASC.

RESULTS: Of the 363,825 Veterans included in the analysis, 164,315 (45%) displayed symptoms of PASC. The Veterans in this analysis were predominantly male, non-Hispanic White, under the age of 65 years old, and lived in an urban residence. The strongest predictors for PASC included Non-Hispanic Black or African American race compared to Non-Hispanic White race (aOR=1.14), being between the ages of 50 and 64 compared to ages 50 and below (aOR=1.80), diabetes (aOR=8.46), and severe acute infection (aOR=1.42).

CONCLUSION: Results demonstrate potential health inequities for vulnerable individuals, as well as increased risk for individuals with pre-existing comorbidities. The prevalence of PASC provides estimates for future health care utilization. The risk factors identified can aid public health interventions to reduce the burden of PASC.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

MacCallum-Bridges CL, Hirschtick JL, Allgood KL, et al (2023)

Cross-sectional population-based estimates of a rural-urban disparity in prevalence of long COVID among Michigan adults with polymerase chain reaction-confirmed COVID-19, 2020-2022.

The Journal of rural health : official journal of the American Rural Health Association and the National Rural Health Care Association [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: To (1) assess whether residential rurality/urbanicity was associated with the prevalence of 30- or 90-day long COVID, and (2) evaluate whether differences in long COVID risk factors might explain this potential disparity.

METHODS: We used data from the Michigan COVID-19 Recovery Surveillance Study, a population-based probability sample of adults with COVID-19 (n = 4,937). We measured residential rurality/urbanicity using dichotomized Rural-Urban Commuting Area codes (metropolitan, nonmetropolitan). We considered outcomes of 30-day long COVID (illness duration ≥30 days) and 90-day long COVID (illness duration ≥90 days). Using Poisson regression, we estimated unadjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) to compare 30- and 90-day long COVID between metropolitan and nonmetropolitan respondents. Then, we adjusted our model to account for differences between groups in long COVID risk factors (age, sex, acute COVID-19 severity, vaccination status, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, health care access, SARS-CoV-2 variant, and pre-existing conditions). We estimated associations for the full study period (Jan 1, 2020-May 31, 2022), the pre-vaccine era (before April 5, 2021), and the vaccine era (after April 5, 2021).

FINDINGS: Compared to metropolitan adults, the prevalence of 30-day long COVID was 15% higher (PR = 1.15 [95% CI: 1.03, 1.29]), and the prevalence of 90-day long COVID was 27% higher (PR = 1.27 [95% CI: 1.09, 1.49]) among nonmetropolitan adults. Adjusting for long COVID risk factors did not reduce disparity estimates in the pre-vaccine era but halved estimates in the vaccine era.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence of a rural-urban disparity in long COVID and suggest that the factors contributing to this disparity changed over time as the sociopolitical context of the pandemic evolved and COVID-19 vaccines were introduced.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Kenny G, McCann K, O'Brien C, et al (2023)

Impact of vaccination and variants of concern on long COVID clinical phenotypes.

BMC infectious diseases, 23(1):804.

BACKGROUND: Defining patterns of symptoms in long COVID is necessary to advance therapies for this heterogeneous condition. Here we aimed to describe clusters of symptoms in individuals with long COVID and explore the impact of the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) and vaccination on these clusters.

METHODS: In a prospective, multi centre cohort study, individuals with symptoms persisting > 4 weeks from acute COVID-19 were divided into two groups based on timing of acute infection; pre-Alpha VOC, denoted wild type (WT) group and post-Alpha VOC (incorporating alpha and delta dominant periods) denoted VOC group. We used multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and hierarchical clustering in the WT and VOC groups to identify symptom clusters. We then used logistic regression to explore factors associated with individual symptoms.

RESULTS: A total of 417 individuals were included in the analysis, 268 in WT and 149 in VOC groups respectively. In both groups MCA identified three similar clusters; a musculoskeletal (MSK) cluster characterised by joint pain and myalgia, a cardiorespiratory cluster and a less symptomatic cluster. Differences in characteristic symptoms were only seen in the cardiorespiratory cluster where a decrease in the frequency of palpitations (10% vs 34% p = 0.008) and an increase in cough (63% vs 17% p < 0.001) in the VOC compared to WT groups was observed. Analysis of the frequency of individual symptoms showed significantly lower frequency of both chest pain (25% vs 39% p = 0.004) and palpitations (12% vs 32% p < 0.001) in the VOC group compared to the WT group. In adjusted analysis being in the VOC group was significantly associated with a lower odds of both chest pain and palpitations, but vaccination was not associated with these symptoms.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests changes in long COVID phenotype in individuals infected later in the pandemic, with less palpitations and chest pain reported. Adjusted analyses suggest that these effects are mediated through introduction of variants rather than an effect from vaccination.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Schumacher B (2023)

[Not Available].

MMW Fortschritte der Medizin, 165(20):18.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Meakleartmongkol T, Tangpanithandee S, Vanavivit N, et al (2023)

Potential drug-drug interactions of frequently prescribed medications in long COVID detected by two electronic databases.

PloS one, 18(11):e0293866 pii:PONE-D-22-26829.

Infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) leads to a wide range of acute and chronic complications including long COVID, a well-known chronic sequela. Long COVID often necessitates long-term treatment, which may lead to an increased potential for drug-drug interactions (DDIs). The objective of this study was to assess potential DDIs among frequently prescribed medications in long COVID by using two electronic databases. Sixty frequently prescribed agents were selected from Thailand's National List of Essential Medicine 2022 for potential DDI analysis by Micromedex and Drugs.com. From these databases, 488 potential DDIs were identified. There were 271 and 434 DDI pairs based on Micromedex and Drugs.com, respectively. Among these DDIs, 77 pairs were labeled as contraindicated or major by both databases. The most common mechanisms for these serious interactions are cytochrome P450 (CYP) inhibition (45%), CYP induction (19%), and QT interval prolongation (7.8%). Based on Fleiss' kappa (0.073), there was only slight agreement of the DDI severity classifications between these two databases. In conclusion, a large number of potential DDIs were detected among frequently prescribed medications for long COVID. Health care providers should be aware of these DDIs, particularly those that are deemed as contraindicated or major. These DDIs are most likely to cause significant adverse events in patients with long COVID because polypharmacy is common.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Sousa F, de Araujo LN, de Oliveira TSO, et al (2023)

Demographic, Clinical, and Quality of Life Profiles of Older People With Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cross-Sectional Study.

JMIR formative research, 7:e49817 pii:v7i1e49817.

BACKGROUND: Diabetes mellitus, one of the main diseases that affects the Brazilian population older than 60 years, is defined as a divergent group of metabolic disorders that present a high level of glycemia (hyperglycemia), causing damage to various organs and systems of the body, including the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system. It is believed that in 2025, in Brazil alone, there will be more than 18.5 million individuals diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Therefore, it is important to know the individuals' quality of life in the context of life and culture.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the demographic, clinical, and quality of life profiles of older adults with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic in a university hospital complex in the northern Amazon region.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional, exploratory, noninterventional, descriptive, and analytical study using a nonrandom sample of 54 older people diagnosed with diabetes mellitus at the geriatrics outpatient clinic of the medium and high complexity university hospital in the western Brazilian Amazon between 2020 and 2022. We used 3 instruments, namely, a sociodemographic questionnaire, a clinical conditions questionnaire, and Diabetes-39. Qualitative data were described using absolute and relative frequencies. The Kolmogorov-Smirnov normality test was applied, and the z test was used for inferential analysis. SPSS software (version 27) was used for data analysis, and the significance level was 5%.

RESULTS: Of the 54 interviewees, the majority were women, married, retired, and had a good quality of life. Of these, 48.1% (n=26) were infected by COVID-19, 61.5% (n=16) of whom progressed to long COVID, presenting with fatigue or muscle weakness. As for the quality of life, the "social overload" (P<.001) and "sexual functioning" (P<.001) dimensions had with low scores compared to the "energy and mobility" (P=.005), "diabetes control" (P<.001), and "anxiety and worry" (P<.001) dimensions. Quality of life was negatively impacted in the "anxiety and worry" dimension. Among those affected by COVID-19, most progressed to long COVID; however, there was a lack of data on this theme in the population of older people with diabetes.

CONCLUSIONS: The majority of interviewees progressed to long COVID, with their quality of life negatively impacted in the "anxiety and worry" dimension, reflecting that health actions prioritizing mental health should be implemented by health professionals.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Zeng G, Zhang Z, Wang L, et al (2023)

Risk factors of long COVID 6-12 months after infection with the Omicron variant among nonhospitalized patients.

Journal of medical virology, 95(11):e29235.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Hoeggerl AD, Nunhofer V, Lauth W, et al (2023)

Epstein-Barr virus reactivation is not causative for post-COVID-19-syndrome in individuals with asymptomatic or mild SARS-CoV-2 disease course.

BMC infectious diseases, 23(1):800.

PURPOSE: Post-COVID-19-Syndrome (PCS) frequently occurs after an infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, the understanding of causative mechanisms is still limited. Aim of this study was to determine the PCS rate among SARS-CoV-2 seropositive blood donors as representatives of supposedly healthy adults, who had experienced an asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 disease course, and to examine whether Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is reactivated in individuals reporting PCS.

METHODS: The PCS rate was determined using questionnaires that included questions about infection and persistent symptoms. Pre-pandemic blood samples and samples collected at regular, pre-defined times after a SARS-CoV-2 infection were analysed for neopterin, a marker for antiviral immune responses, by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Additionally, we determined the rate of SARS-CoV-2 anti-N total antibodies using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA). Furthermore, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect EBV DNA and ECLIA screening for EBV viral capsid-antigen (VCA) IgM, IgG and EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA) IgG were performed.

RESULTS: Our data reveal that 18% of all infections result in PCS, with symptoms lasting for up to one year. In individuals reporting PCS, no elevated levels of neopterin were detected, indicating no persisting pro-inflammatory, antiviral immune response. SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels were declining in all participants in comparable manner over time, pointing to a successful virus clearance. In individuals with PCS, no EBV DNA could be detected. Furthermore, no differences in EBV specific antibody levels could be shown in PCS groups compared to non-PCS groups.

CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that PCS in per se healthy, immunocompetent adults cannot be ascribed to a reactivation of EBV.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Violi F, Harenberg J, Pignatelli P, et al (2023)

COVID-19 and Long-COVID Thrombosis: From Clinical and Basic Science to Therapeutics.

Thrombosis and haemostasis [Epub ahead of print].

Coronavirus infectious disease-19 (COVID-19) is a pandemic characterized by serious lung disease and thrombotic events in the venous and circulation trees, which represent a harmful clinical sign of poor outcome. Thrombotic events are more frequent in patients with severe disease requiring intensive care units and are associated with platelet and clotting activation. However, after resolution of acute infection, patients may still have clinical sequelae, the so-called long-COVID-19, including thrombotic events again in the venous and arterial circulation. The mechanisms accounting for thrombosis in acute and long COVID-19 have not been fully clarified; interactions of COVID-19 with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 or toll-like receptor family or infection-induced cytokine storm have been suggested to be implicated in endothelial cells, leucocytes, and platelets to elicit clotting activation in acute as well in chronic phase of the disease. In acute COVID-19, prophylactic or full doses of anticoagulants exert beneficial effects even if the dosage choice is still under investigation; however, a residual risk still remains suggesting a need for a more appropriate therapeutic approach. In long COVID-19 preliminary data provided useful information in terms of antiplatelet treatment but definition of candidates for thrombotic prophylaxis is still undefined.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Ishizuka K, Miyagami T, Tsuchida T, et al (2023)

Online search interest in long-term symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019 during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan: Infodemiology study using the most visited search engine in Japan.

PloS one, 18(11):e0294261 pii:PONE-D-23-28136.

Prolonged symptoms that occur after COVID-19 (long-COVID) vary from mild, which do not interfere with daily life, to severe, which require long-term social support. This study assessed the secular trend in online searches on long-COVID in Japan. We conducted an observational study using data provided by Yahoo! JAPAN on the monthly search volume of query terms related to long-COVID from January 2020 to December 2022, including the search volume of the query "コロナ" (long-COVID in Japanese). The number of new cases of COVID-19 by month was used as a control for search trends, and the symptoms retrieved in conjunction with long-COVID were compared. Trends in online searches for each symptom of long-COVID were analyzed. The symptoms of long-COVID were classified according to "Component 1-Symptoms and Complaints" of the International Classification of Primary Care, 2nd edition (ICPC-2). Interest in long-COVID increased in response to peaks in the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Japan. The most frequent symptom searches with long-COVID were hair loss/baldness (3,530, 21,400, and 33,600 searches in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively), cough (340, 7,900 and 138,910 searches in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively), disturbance of smell/taste (230, 13,340, and 44,160 searches in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively), and headache (580, 6,180, and 42,870 searches in 2020, 2021, and 2022, respectively). In addition, the ranking of interest in "weakness/tiredness, general" in long-COVID increased each year (not in the top 10 in 2020, seventh in 2021, and second in 2022), and the absolute number of searches also increased. To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate secular trends in online interest in long-COVID in the world. Continued monitoring of online interest in long-COVID is necessary to prepare for a possible increase in the number of patients with long-COVID.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Bourdas DI, Bakirtzoglou P, Travlos AK, et al (2023)

Analysis of a comprehensive dataset: Influence of vaccination profile, types, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 re-infections on changes in sports-related physical activity one month after infection.

Data in brief, 51:109723.

This dataset was created with the primary objective of elucidating the intricate relationship between the incidence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) re-infections and the pre-illness vaccination profile and types concerning alterations in sports-related physical activity (PA) after SARS-CoV-2 infection among adults. A secondary objective encompassed a comprehensive statistical analysis to explore the influence of three key factors-namely, Vaccination profile, Vaccination types, and Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 re-infections-on changes in PA related to exercise and sports, recorded at two distinct time points: one to two weeks prior to infection and one month after the last SARS-CoV-2 infection. The sample population (n = 5829), drawn from Hellenic territory, adhered to self-inclusion and exclusion criteria. Data collection spanned from February to March 2023 (a two-month period), involving the utilization of the Active-Q (an online, interactive questionnaire) to automatically assess weekly habitual sports-related PA among adults both before and after their last SARS-CoV-2 infection. The questionnaire also captured participant characteristics, pre-illness vaccination statuses (i.e., unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, fully vaccinated, and vaccine types), and occurrences of SARS-CoV-2 re-infections. The dataset sheds light on two noteworthy phenomena: (i) the intricate interplay between post-acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and a decline in sports-related physical activity (-27.6 ± 0.6%, 95%CI: -26.1 - -29.1), influenced by the pre-illness vaccination profile factor (p = 0.040); and (ii) the divergence in sports-related physical activity decline between partially vaccinated (-38.2 ± 0.7%, 95%CI: -35.3 - -41.1, p = 0.031) and fully vaccinated respondents (-19.2 ± 0.5%, 95%CI: -17.2 - -21.2). These phenomena underscore the imperative for tailored interventions and further investigation to promote the resumption of physical activity and mitigate long-term repercussions. Furthermore, this dataset enriches our understanding of the dynamics of sports-related physical activity and provides valuable insights for public health initiatives aiming to address the consequences of COVID-19 on sports-related physical activity levels. Consequently, this cross-sectional dataset is amenable to a diverse array of analytical methodologies, including univariate and multivariate analyses, and holds potential relevance for researchers, leaders in the sports and medical sectors, and policymakers, all of whom share a vested interest in fostering initiatives directed at reinstating physical activity and mitigating the enduring ramifications of post-acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Sharif N, Sharif N, Khan A, et al (2023)

Prevalence and impact of long COVID-19 among patients with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in Bangladesh.

Frontiers in public health, 11:1222868.

INTRODUCTION: Co-prevalence of long-COVID-19, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes is one of the major health challenges of the pandemic worldwide. Studies on long-COVID-19 and associated health outcomes are absent in Bangladesh. The main aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and impact of long-COVID-19 on preexisting diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) on health outcomes among patients in Bangladesh.

METHODS: We collected data from 3,250 participants in Bangladesh, retrospectively. Multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine the odds ratio between independent and dependent variables. Kaplan-Meier survival curve was used to determine the cumulative survival.

RESULTS: COVID-19 was detected among 73.4% (2,385 of 3,250) participants. Acute long-COVID-19 was detected among 28.4% (678 of 2,385) and chronic long-COVID-19 among 71.6% (1,707 of 2,385) patients. CVD and diabetes were found among 32%, and 24% patients, respectively. Mortality rate was 18% (585 of 3,250) among the participants. Co-prevalence of CVD, diabetes and COVID-19 was involved in majority of fatality (95%). Fever (97%), dry cough (87%) and loss of taste and smell (85%) were the most prevalent symptoms. Patients with co-prevalence of CVD, diabetes and COVID-19 had higher risk of fatality (OR: 3.65, 95% CI, 2.79-4.24). Co-prevalence of CVD, diabetes and chronic long-COVID-19 were detected among 11.9% patients.

DISCUSSION: Risk of hospitalization and fatality reduced significantly among the vaccinated. This is one of the early studies on long-COVID-19 in Bangladesh.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Neto RBD, Reis LFF, Ferreira AS, et al (2023)

Hospital admission is associated with disability and late musculoskeletal pain in individuals with long COVID.

Frontiers in rehabilitation sciences, 4:1186499.

BACKGROUND: The acute clinical repercussions of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been widely studied. However, the possible late repercussions of long COVID have not yet been well defined in the literature.

OBJECTIVES: To identify the presence of pain and musculoskeletal disability in patients with Long COVID and also to identify predictive factors for pain intensity in this population.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional and retrospective observational study individuals with Long COVID symptoms were included. It was collected musculoskeletal disability measures, data from patient-related outcome measures and variables from a COVID-19 outpatient service database. Associations and sub-group analyses were performed considering the variables pain, disability and hospitalization. Linear regression was performed to identify predictive factors for pain intensity in Long COVID patients.

RESULTS: We evaluated 195 patients and most of them (57%) presented musculoskeletal pain in one area of the body. Pain sub-group presented worse disability indices and worse clinical course during hospitalization. Hospitalized patients presented worse disability indices comparing to non-hospitalized. Significant correlations were found between pain and days of non-invasive oxygen support (r = 0.21; p = 0.003); days in intensive care unit (r = 0.22; p = 0.002) and days in invasive mechanical ventilation (r = 0.35; p = 0.001). Hospitalized individuals showed a higher chance of presenting late musculoskeletal pain (OR = 1.42: 95%CI 1.09-2.04). Days in intensive care unit (β = 0,234: P = 0,001) and days in invasive mechanical ventilation (β = 0.764: P = 0.001) were predictors of pain intensity [F(2,192) = 18.559; R[2] = 0.231; p = 0.001].

CONCLUSION: Individuals with Long COVID presented musculoskeletal pain and disability. Hospitalized patients showed a greater chance of having musculoskeletal pain. Days in intensive care unit and days in invasive mechanical ventilation were predictors of late musculoskeletal pain intensity.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Pierre V, Draica F, Di Fusco M, et al (2023)

The impact of vaccination and outpatient treatment on the economic burden of covid-19 in the United States omicron era: a systematic literature review.

Journal of medical economics [Epub ahead of print].

AIMS: To identify and synthesize evidence regarding how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) interventions, including vaccines and outpatient treatments, have impacted healthcare resource use (HCRU) and costs in the United States (US) during the Omicron era.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A systematic literature review (SLR) was performed to identify articles published between 1 January 2021 and 10 March 2023 that assessed the impact of vaccination and outpatient treatment on costs and HCRU outcomes associated with COVID-19. Screening was performed by two independent researchers using predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria.

RESULTS: Fifty-eight unique studies were included in the SLR, of which all reported HCRU outcomes, and one reported costs. Overall, there was a significant reduction in the risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization for patients who received an original monovalent primary series vaccine plus booster dose vs. no vaccination. Moreover, receipt of a booster vaccine was associated with a lower risk of hospitalization vs. primary series vaccination. Evidence also indicated a significantly reduced risk of hospitalizations among recipients of nirmatrelvir/ritonavir (NMV/r), remdesivir, sotrovimab, and molnupiravir compared to non-recipients. Treated and/or vaccinated patients also experienced reductions in ICU admissions, length of stay, and emergency department (ED)/urgent care clinic encounters.

LIMITATIONS: The identified studies may not represent unique patient populations as many utilized the same regional/national data sources. Synthesis of the evidence was also limited by differences in populations, outcome definitions, and varying duration of follow-up across studies. Additionally, significant gaps, including HCRU associated with long COVID and various high-risk populations and cost data, were observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite evidence gaps, findings from the SLR highlight the significant positive impact that vaccination and outpatient treatment have had on HCRU in the US, including periods of Omicron predominance. Continued research is needed to inform clinical and policy decision-making in the US as COVID-19 continues to evolve as an endemic disease.

RevDate: 2023-11-15

Wang S, Peng H, Chen F, et al (2023)

Identification of genetic loci jointly influencing COVID-19 and coronary heart diseases.

Human genomics, 17(1):101.

BACKGROUND: Comorbidities of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)/coronary heart disease (CHD) pose great threats to disease outcomes, yet little is known about their shared pathology. The study aimed to examine whether comorbidities of COVID-19/CHD involved shared genetic pathology, as well as to clarify the shared genetic variants predisposing risks common to COVID-19 severity and CHD risks.

METHODS: By leveraging publicly available summary statistics, we assessed the genetically determined causality between COVID-19 and CHD with bidirectional Mendelian randomization. To further quantify the causality contributed by shared genetic variants, we interrogated their genetic correlation with the linkage disequilibrium score regression method. Bayesian colocalization analysis coupled with conditional/conjunctional false discovery rate analysis was applied to decipher the shared causal single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

FINDINGS: Briefly, we observed that the incident CHD risks post COVID-19 infection were partially determined by shared genetic variants. The shared genetic variants contributed to the causality at a proportion of 0.18 (95% CI 0.18-0.19) to 0.23 (95% CI 0.23-0.24). The SNP (rs10490770) located near LZTFL1 suggested direct causality (SNPs → COVID-19 → CHD), and SNPs in ABO (rs579459, rs495828), ILRUN(rs2744961), and CACFD1(rs4962153, rs3094379) may simultaneously influence COVID-19 severity and CHD risks.

INTERPRETATION: Five SNPs located near LZTFL1 (rs10490770), ABO (rs579459, rs495828), ILRUN (rs2744961), and CACFD1 (rs4962153, rs3094379) may simultaneously influence their risks. The current study suggested that there may be shared mechanisms predisposing to both COVID-19 severity and CHD risks. Genetic predisposition to COVID-19 is a causal risk factor for CHD, supporting that reducing the COVID-19 infection risk or alleviating COVID-19 severity among those with specific genotypes might reduce their subsequent CHD adverse outcomes. Meanwhile, the shared genetic variants identified may be of clinical implications for identifying the target population who are more vulnerable to adverse CHD outcomes post COVID-19 and may also advance treatments of 'Long COVID-19.'


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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Although new treatments and vaccines have greatly reduced the acute threat of covid-19, many people who contract the disease find themselves with a persistent set of symptoms that are at best uncomfortable and at worst debilitating — long covid. R. Robbins

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )