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More than 50 long-term effects of COVID-19:
A systematic review and meta-analysis

Date : August 30, 2021

From authors: Sandra Lopez-Leon, Talia Wegman-Ostrosky, Carol Perelman, Rosalinda Sepulveda, Paulina A. Rebolledo, Angelica Cuapio & Sonia Villapol

A report from the journal scientific reports states that there are over 50- long-term side effects that may linger in COVID-19 patients. Some of the recurring symptoms could be considered common: fatigue, headache and joint pain. Some complaints of hair loss occurred, but there are more serious reports of diabetes and strokes. The authors state that more research is needed.

COVID-19 can involve persistence, sequelae, and other medical complications that last weeks to months after initial recovery. This systematic review and meta-analysis aims to identify studies assessing the long-term effects of COVID-19. LitCOVID and Embase were searched to identify articles with original data published before the 1st of January 2021, with a minimum of 100 patients. For effects reported in two or more studies, meta-analyses using a random-effects model were performed using the MetaXL software to estimate the pooled prevalence with 95% CI. PRISMA guidelines were followed. A total of 18,251 publications were identified, of which 15 met the inclusion criteria. The prevalence of 55 long-term effects was estimated, 21 meta-analyses were performed, and 47,910 patients were included (age 17-87 years). The included studies defined long-COVID as ranging from 14 to 110 days post-viral infection. It was estimated that 80% of the infected patients with SARS-CoV-2 developed one or more long-term symptoms. The five most common symptoms were fatigue (58%), headache (44%), attention disorder (27%), hair loss (25%), and dyspnea (24%). Multi-disciplinary teams are crucial to developing preventive measures, rehabilitation techniques, and clinical management strategies with whole-patient perspectives designed to address long COVID-19 care.

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(Abstract courtesy: the Publisher)