a slow improvement in symptoms after two years for a majority of patients, according to a new study

On the contrary, 5% of patients had significant and persistent symptoms over time, according to a study published Friday.

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A patient with long Covid, whose resting heart rate is more than 110 beats per minute (compared to an average of 55 and 80).  (SOLENE ARTAUD / HANS LUCAS)

Fatigue, shortness of breath, intermittent fever… For 90% of patients suffering from long Covid, their symptoms improve slowly after two years, according to a study published Friday May 26 in the journal International Journal of Infectious Diseases. The study was carried out by epidemiologist Viet-Thi Tran (Paris Cité University / AP-HP), with just over 2,000 patients from the “ComPare” cohort suffering from long Covid.

Long Covid is manifested by one or more symptoms from a long list, usually within three months of infection with Covid-19. It is not a “disease” unique but a complex syndrome resulting from multiple often intertwined mechanisms, recalls the AP-HP in a press release. According to the study, around 90% of people with long Covid still report symptoms a year after their initial infection.

Persistent and significant symptoms for 5% of patients

The researchers were able to identify three trajectories in the patients. The overwhelming majority of patients (91%) experienced a slow improvement in their symptoms over time, with an average decrease of about 25% in the number of symptoms within two years after onset. Some 4% of patients saw a rapid improvement in their symptoms, with complete remission of symptoms within two years of onset. These are generally younger people who had no history of functional disease.

Finally, 5% of patients, on the contrary, had significant and persistent symptoms over time. These patients were generally older, smokers and had a history of autoimmune disease. They more frequently presented symptoms such as tachycardia, palpitations, hot flashes during their acute illness.

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