Drug Discov Ther. 2021;15(5):254-260. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2021.01093)
Post COVID-19 sequelae: A prospective observational study from Northern India
Naik S, Haldar SN, Soneja M, Mundadan NG, Garg P, Mittal A, Desai D, Trilangi PK, Chakraborty S, Begam NN, Bhattacharya B, Maher G, Mahishi N, Rajanna C, Kumar SS, Arunan B, Kirtana J, Gupta A, Patidar D, Kodan P, Sethi P, Ray A, Jorwal P, Kumar A, Nischa
Post COVID-19 sequelae are a constellation of symptoms often reported after recovering from COVID-19. There is a need to better understand the clinical spectrum and long-term course of this clinical entity. The aim of this study is to describe the clinical features and risk factors of post COVID-19 sequelae in the North Indian population. This prospective observational study was conducted at a tertiary healthcare centre in Northern India between October 2020 and February 2021. Patients aged >18 years with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were recruited after at least two weeks of diagnosis, and details were captured. A total of 1234 patients were recruited and followed up for a median duration of 91 days (IQR: 45-181 days). Among them, 495 (40.1%) had persistent symptoms post-discharge or recovery. In 223 (18.1%) patients, the symptoms resolved within four weeks; 150 (12.1%) patients had symptoms till 12 weeks, and 122 (9.9%) patients had symptoms beyond 12 weeks of diagnosis/symptom-onset of COVID-19. Most common symptoms included myalgia (10.9%), fatigue (5.5%), shortness of breath (6.1%), cough (2.1%), insomnia (1.4%), mood disturbances (0.48%) and anxiety (0.6%). Patients who were hospitalized were more likely to report fatigue as a feature of long COVID. Hypothyroidism (OR: 4.13, 95% CI: 2.2-7.6, p-value < 0.001) and hypoxia (SpO2 ≤ 93%) (OR: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1-2.4, p-value 0.012) were identified as risk factors for long COVID sequelae. In conclusion, long COVID symptoms were common (22%), and 9.9% had the post COVID-19 syndrome. Myalgias, fatigue and dyspnoea were common symptoms. Patients with hypothyroidism and hypoxia during acute illness were at higher risk of long COVID.