Prevalence of long COVID in a national cohort: longitudinal measures from disease onset until 8 months’ follow-up

Maria Skaalum Petersen, Marnar Fríðheim Kristiansen, Katrin Dahl Hanusson, Billa Mouritsardóttir Foldbo, Marjun Eivindardóttir Danielsen, Bjarni á Steig, Shahin Gaini, Marin Strøm, Pál Weihe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: -206 Persistence of COVID-19 symptoms in non-hospitalised patients beyond a few months has not been well characterised. In this longitudinal study from the Faroe Islands, we present prevalence of long COVID in mainly non-hospitalised patients who were followed for up to 8 months. METHODS: All Faroese individuals with confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis from August to December 2020 were invited to participate in this study (n=297). Demographic and clinical characteristics and self-reported symptoms were ascertained prospectively using a detailed questionnaire administered at repeated phone interviews. RESULTS: A total of 226 individuals participated at baseline (226/297, 76% participation rate) of which 170 participants had more than 3 months follow-up. Of these, 39% (n=67/170, 95% CI [32-37%]) reported persistent symptoms median (range) 168 (93-231) days after the acute phase and 8% (n=14/170, 95% CI [5-13%]) reported severe persistent symptoms. The most prevalent symptoms were fatigue (16%) and smell (17%) and taste (14%) dysfunction. Long COVID was more common in people reporting daily medication use (OR 2.34, 95% CI [1.02-5.37]). CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that symptoms may take months to resolve, even among non-hospitalised patients with a mild illness in the acute phase. Continued monitoring for long COVID is needed to evaluate the added risk of a potential public health concern.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume122
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • long covid
  • persisting symptoms
  • longitudinal study
  • Faroe Islands

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