Among 62 clinical symptoms, loss of smell, hair loss, sneezing, difficulty ejaculating, and low libido were the most reported.
A British study published Monday 25 in the scientific journal Nature Medicine has mapped new symptoms associated with the long covid. Of a total of 62 clinical manifestations, anosmia (loss of sense of smell), hair loss, sneezing, difficulty ejaculating and decreased libido were the most reported. The research also points out that women, young people, ethnic minorities, people with socio-economic difficulties, smokers and obese people are more likely to face the disease.
According to the British National Institute of Statistics, 10% of people infected with the new coronavirus have persistent symptoms for a period of 12 weeks or more. This persistence has been given several names, such as long covid or post-covid syndrome. The manifestations, according to the new study, last for at least two months and cannot be explained by another diagnosis.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham analyzed the medical records of 2.4 million people in the UK. Data collected between January 2020 and April 2021 included more than 480,000 patients previously diagnosed with covid and 1.9 million without signs of infection. Unlike many previous studies, this one focused on the non-hospitalized population, on which data is still sparse.
The researchers attribute the focus on outpatients to the mapping of symptoms that in previous analyzes were not widely reported, such as hair loss and sexual dysfunction.
“This research validates what patients have told physicians and policymakers during the pandemic, that long-term covid symptoms are extremely broad and cannot be fully explained by other factors, such as related risk factors lifestyle or chronic health conditions,” Shamil Haroon, lead author of the study and professor of public health at the British university, told the institution’s portal.
Another finding associated with population choice was that younger people are more likely to live with persistent symptoms. In addition to them, other “risk groups” were women, overweight or obese people, smokers, ethnic minorities and patients with socio-economic difficulties.
The study also traced a wide range of comorbidities associated with an increased risk of prolonged symptoms. Among them, fibromyalgia, anxiety, erectile dysfunction, depression and migraine, for example.
On the institution’s portal, Anuradhaa Subramanian, a researcher at the British University’s Institute of Applied Health Research and lead author of the paper, stressed the importance of analyzing risk factors, as this helps to assess what contributed to long-term covid and improve patient care.
“Women are, for example, more likely to suffer from autoimmune diseases. Seeing the increased likelihood of women having long-term covid in our study raises our interest in investigating whether autoimmunity or other causes may account for the increased risk in women.
See the ten most common symptoms
Shortness of breath at rest
pleuritic chest pain
Other symptoms that appear on the list are vaginal discharge, urinary retention, dizziness, red eyes, and earache.
A Brazilian study, led by Fiocruz Minas, revealed that half of people diagnosed with covid-19 have sequelae that can last more than a year. The survey counted 23 symptoms after the end of the acute infection. Fatigue was the main complaint, reported by 35.6% of patients. Among the sequelae most cited are also persistent cough (34%), breathing difficulties (26.5%), loss of smell or taste (20.1%) and frequent headaches (17, 3%).
Patients help scientists
As Estadão showed, in April, in the United States, patients became citizen scientists by helping to seek a cure for the long covid. Online, they document their symptoms. This helps healthcare professionals think through questions and strategies, and even publish the results.