Aug. 12, 2022 Hair thinning, reduced libido, and erection dysfunction have joined a listing of better-known symptoms associated with long COVID in patients who have been not hospitalized, in accordance with findings of a big study.
Anuradhaa Subramanian, PhD, with the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham in britain, led the study published online on July 25 in Nature Medicine.
The team analyzed 486,149 adult electronic health records from patients with confirmed COVID in the U.K., in comparison to 1.9 million people who have no prior history of COVID, from January 2020 to April 2021. Researchers matched both groups closely when it comes to demographic, social, and clinical traits.
The team identified 62 symptoms, like the well-known indicators of long COVID, such as for example fatigue, lack of sense of smell, shortness of breath, and brain fog, but additionally hair thinning, sexual dysfunction, chest pain, fever, lack of control of bowel motions, and limb swelling.
These differences in symptoms reported between your infected and uninfected groups remained even with we accounted for age, sex, ethnic group, socioeconomic status, body mass index, smoking status, the current presence of a lot more than 80 health issues, and past reporting of exactly the same symptom, Subramanian and co-researcher Shamil Haroon, PhD, wrote in a summary of these research in The Conversation.
They explain that only 20 of the outward symptoms they found are contained in the World Health Organizations clinical case definition for long COVID.
In addition they discovered that people more prone to have persistent symptoms a few months after COVID infection were also more prone to be young, female, smokers, to participate in certain minority ethnic groups, also to have lower socioeconomic status. These were also more prone to be obese and also have an array of health issues.
Haroon, a co-employee clinical professor at the University of Birmingham, says that certain reason it appeared that younger individuals were more prone to get outward indications of long COVID could be that older adults with COVID were more prone to be hospitalized and werent one of them study.
Since we only considered non-hospitalized adults, the older adults we contained in our study might have been relatively healthier and therefore had a lesser symptom burden, he says.
Subramania notes that older patients were more prone to report lasting COVID-related symptoms in the analysis, however when researchers accounted for an array of other conditions that patients had before infection (which generally additionally happen in older adults), they found younger age as a risk factor for long-term COVID-related symptoms.
In the analysis period, most patients were unvaccinated, and results came prior to the widespread Delta and Omicron variants.
Over fifty percent (56.6%) of the patients infected with the herpes virus that triggers COVID have been diagnosed in 2020, and 43.4% in 2021. Significantly less than 5% (4.5%) of the patients infected with the herpes virus and 4.7% of the patients without recorded proof a COVID infection had received at the very least an individual dose of a COVID vaccine prior to the study started.
Eric Topol, MD, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, CA, and editor-in-chief of Medscape (WebMD’s sister site for doctors), says more studies have to be done to see whether results will be different with vaccination status and evolving variants.
But he notes that study has several strengths: The hair thinning, libido loss, and ejaculation difficulty are new symptoms,” and the analysis large and carefully controlled shows these issues were the type of more prone to occur.
A lack of sense of smell that is not just a new observation was still probably the most likely risk shown in the analysis, followed by hair thinning, sneezing, ejaculation difficulty, and reduced libido; accompanied by shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain connected with breathing difficulties, hoarseness, and fever.
Three Main Clusters of Symptoms
Given the wide variety of symptoms, long COVID likely represents several conditions, the authors wrote.
They found three main clusters. The biggest, with roughly 80% of individuals with long COVID in the analysis, faced an easy spectral range of symptoms, which range from fatigue, to headache, to pain. The next largest group, (15%) mostly had symptoms relating to mental health insurance and thinking skills, including depression, anxiety, brain fog, and insomnia. The tiniest group (5%) had mainly respiratory symptoms such as for example shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing.
Putting symptoms in clusters will undoubtedly be vital that you start understanding what results in long COVID, says Farha Ikramuddin, MD, a physiatrist and rehabilitation specialist at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis.
She says although symptoms listed in this paper are new in published research, she’s certainly been seeing them as time passes in her long COVID clinic. (The researchers also used only coded healthcare data, so that they were limited in what symptoms they might discover, she notes.)
Ikramuddin says a strength of the paper is its large size, but she also cautioned that its difficult to find out whether members of the comparison group truly had no COVID infection once the information is extracted from their medical records. Often, people test in the home or assume they will have COVID and dont test, she says, and then the information wouldnt be recorded.
Evaluating non-hospitalized patients can be important, she says, just as much of the study on long COVID has result from hospitalized patients, so little has been known concerning the symptoms of people that have milder infections.
Patients who’ve been hospitalized and also have long COVID look completely different from the patients who have been not hospitalized, Ikramuddin says.
One clear message from the paper, she says, is that listening and asking extensive questions about symptoms are essential with patients who’ve had COVID.
It will be important to accomplish studies on time for work with patients with long COVID to observe how many can easily return and at what capacity, Ikramuddin says.