Only 29% of hospitalized UK Covid patients recover within a year | Coronavirus

Less than one in three people who have been hospitalized with Covid-19 have fully recovered a year after succumbing to the infection.

This is the shocking finding from an investigation into the impact of the long Covid in the UK. The team of scientists and doctors from the University of Leicester also found that women had lower recovery rates than men after hospitalization, while obesity was also likely to hamper prospects for improvement. of a person’s health.

Symptoms reported by patients a year after their initial infection included fatigue, muscle aches, lack of sleep and shortness of breath.

“Given that over 750,000 people have been hospitalized in the UK with Covid-19 over the past two years, it is clear from our research that the legacy of this disease is going to be huge,” said Rachael Evans, one of the study researchers. authors.

The team stressed that their results show that there is now an urgent need to develop ways to combat the long Covid. “Without effective treatments, long Covid could become a widespread long-term illness,” said Professor Chris Brightling, another author.

The research, which will be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Lisbon on Sunday involved testing more than 2,000 people from 39 NHS hospitals who had been admitted after contracting Covid-19. Follow-up health assessments were done after five months and again after a year.

“We found that only 25% of people hospitalized with Covid-19 had fully recovered five months after discharge, a figure that increased only slightly – to 29% – after one year,” Evans said. “It was a very limited recovery rate in terms of improved mental health, organ impairment and quality of life. It was striking.

Being female, being obese and having undergone mechanical ventilation in hospital were all associated with even lower recovery rates. “If you are male, you are more likely to be hospitalized if you catch Covid-19 but have a [higher] chance to feel better when you go out,” Evans added. “We found that being female and being obese was a major risk factor for not recovering after one year.”

A critical factor in these low recovery rates was the lack of long-existing treatments for Covid, added Professor Louise Wain, also involved in the study. “No specific therapeutics have long existed for Covid and our data underscore that effective interventions are urgently needed.”

The researchers also found that many of those who reported impairment following hospitalization suffered from persistent inflammation. “This suggests that these groups might respond to anti-inflammatory strategies,” Wain added.

The widespread impact of Covid-19 on Britain’s health was highlighted last week when the Office for National Statistics released figures suggesting more than seven in 10 people in England have now been infected with the disease since the start of the pandemic. This estimate, based on testing a sample of over 500,000 individuals, indicates that 71% of the population in England had contracted Covid between April 27, 2020 and February 11, 2022.

However, this figure is likely an underestimate, given the impact of the latest wave of Omicron infections which reached its highest prevalence after February. “The number of infected people was growing rapidly when the data stopped. Ultimately the majority of people in the UK have had Covid-19,” said Professor James Naismith, director of the Rosalind Franklin Institute at the University of Oxford.

The ONS has also revealed Covid cases are falling across the country, indicating the latest wave of the disease has peaked. On An estimated 3.8 million people were infected last week, against a peak of 4.9 million a month ago, when the number of cases reached its highest level since the start of the pandemic.

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Edward L. Robinett