(HealthDay News) — Most hospital survivors of COVID-19 have good physical and functional recovery at 1 year after acute infection, but health status is lower than for controls, according to a study published online in The Lancet.
Lixue Huang, MD, from the Capital Medical University in Beijing, and colleagues conducted an ambidirectional cohort study of COVID-19 survivors who had been discharged between Jan. 7 and May 29, 2020. A total of 1276 COVID-19 survivors completed follow-up visits at 6 and 12 months.
The researchers found that from 6 to 12 months, the proportion of patients with a least 1 sequelae symptom decreased from 68 to 49%. The proportion with dyspnea increased slightly from 26 to 30%. There was also an increase seen in the proportion of patients with anxiety or depression (from 23 to 26%). There was no significant difference observed for the distance walked in 6 minutes between 6 and 12 months. Of the patients who were employed before COVID-19, 88% had returned to their original work at 12 months. Women had increased odds of fatigue and muscle weakness, anxiety or depression, and diffusion impairment compared with men (odds ratios, 1.43, 2.00, and 2.97, respectively). Compared with controls, COVID-19 survivors had more problems with mobility, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression, and they had more prevalent symptoms.
“Ongoing longitudinal follow-up is needed to better characterize the natural history and pathogenesis of long-term health consequences of COVID-19,” the authors write.