Long Covid in adults discharged from UK hospitals after Covid-19: A prospective, multicentre cohort study using the ISARIC WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol.
Sigfrid L., Drake TM., Pauley E., Jesudason EC., Olliaro P., Lim WS., Gillesen A., Berry C., Lowe DJ., McPeake J., Lone N., Munblit D., Cevik M., Casey A., Bannister P., Russell CD., Goodwin L., Ho A., Turtle L., O'Hara ME., Hastie C., Donohue C., Spencer RG., Donegan C., Gummery A., Harrison J., Hardwick HE., Hastie CE., Carson G., Merson L., Baillie JK., Openshaw P., Harrison EM., Docherty AB., Semple MG., Scott JT., ISARIC4C investigators None.
BackgroundThis study sought to establish the long-term effects of Covid-19 following hospitalisation.Methods327 hospitalised participants, with SARS-CoV-2 infection were recruited into a prospective multicentre cohort study at least 3 months post-discharge. The primary outcome was self-reported recovery at least ninety days after initial Covid-19 symptom onset. Secondary outcomes included new symptoms, disability (Washington group short scale), breathlessness (MRC Dyspnoea scale) and quality of life (EQ5D-5L).Findings55% of participants reported not feeling fully recovered. 93% reported persistent symptoms, with fatigue the most common (83%), followed by breathlessness (54%). 47% reported an increase in MRC dyspnoea scale of at least one grade. New or worse disability was reported by 24% of participants. The EQ5D-5L summary index was significantly worse following acute illness (median difference 0.1 points on a scale of 0 to 1, IQR: -0.2 to 0.0). Females under the age of 50 years were five times less likely to report feeling recovered (adjusted OR 5.09, 95% CI 1.64 to 15.74), were more likely to have greater disability (adjusted OR 4.22, 95% CI 1.12 to 15.94), twice as likely to report worse fatigue (adjusted OR 2.06, 95% CI 0.81 to 3.31) and seven times more likely to become more breathless (adjusted OR 7.15, 95% CI 2.24 to 22.83) than men of the same age.InterpretationSurvivors of Covid-19 experienced long-term symptoms, new disability, increased breathlessness, and reduced quality of life. These findings were present in young, previously healthy working age adults, and were most common in younger females.FundingNational Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.