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Young, recovered Covid-19 patients with no comorbidities reporting heart, lung, liver impairment

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on October 19, 2020 Published on October 19, 2020

Study population limited by ethnicity despite disproportionate impact of Covid-19 in non-white individuals

Scientists found growing evidence of heart, lung, liver, and pancreas impairment four months post coronavirus recovery in young individuals without comorbidities.

The preprint version of the study was published in the journal medRxiv.

Methodology

For the study, the researchers analysed over 200 Covid-19-infected people who were enrolled at two United Kingdom healthcare centres: Perspectum, Oxford and Mayo Clinic Healthcare, London. They followed these people between April and September 2020.

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The researchers, including Sandeep Kapur from Mayo Clinic Healthcare, stated in the study that the mean age of the participants was 44. And, they completed the assessments 105-160 days after initial symptoms.

The researchers also noted that the prevalence of pre-existing conditions, including obesity and hypertension, was low among the participants, and only 18 per cent of these individuals had to be hospitalised due to the coronavirus.

Findings

The findings of the study suggest that nearly four months after the development of the initial symptoms, participants reported fatigue, muscle aches, breathlessness, and headaches.

The researchers wrote in the study that 70 per cent of long haulers in low-risk population have impairment in one or more organs. This was reported four months after the initial symptoms of the coronavirus infection.

The researchers noted: “In this young cohort with a low prevalence of comorbidities, the extent of symptom burden and organ impairment is concerning.”

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Months after the initial symptoms, the participants still experienced prolonged cardiorespiratory (92 per cent) and gastrointestinal (73 per cent) symptoms, and 42 per cent of individuals had 10 or more symptoms.

The researchers also observed evidence of mild organ impairment in the heart (32 per cent), lungs (33 per cent), kidneys (12 per cent), 63 liver (10 per cent), pancreas (17 per cent), and spleen (6 per cent).

“Single and multi-organ impairment was observed, and was significantly associated with risk of prior Covid-19 hospitalisation,” the study stated.

Limitations

The researchers added that the study population was limited by ethnicity despite the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 in non-white individuals.

However, the researchers believe that this is happening not only because of the ‘long Covid’ burden but also because of the public health approaches.

The study concluded: “There is an urgent need for further multi-organ assessment, including blood and imaging analysis in the Covid-19 context, as well as linkage with primary and secondary care data so that ‘long Covid’ can be properly defined.”

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Published on October 19, 2020
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