Predictors of post-COVID-19 and the impact of persistent symptoms in non-hospitalized patients 12 months after COVID-19, with a focus on work ability

  • Marta A. Kisiel Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0410-1509
  • Helena Janols Department of Medical Sciences, Infectious Diseases, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3857-163X
  • Tobias Nordqvist Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4864-9488
  • Jonas Bergquist Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry, Department of Chemistry – BMC, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; and The ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centre at Uppsala University, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6259-3804
  • Simone Hagfeldt Analytical Chemistry and Neurochemistry, Department of Chemistry – BMC, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; and The ME/CFS Collaborative Research Centre at Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Andrei Malinovschi Department of Medical Sciences, Clinical Physiology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4098-7765
  • Magnus Svartengren Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8165-7236
Keywords: Post-COVID-19, long-term symptoms after COVID-19, work ability after COVID-19, healthcare workers

Abstract

Background: Better knowledge of long-term symptoms following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the so-called post-COVID-19, in non-hospitalized patients is needed. The aim of this study was to study persisent symptoms up to 12 months after COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients and their impact on work ability. We also investigated predictors of persistent symptoms.

Methods: This study encompassed non-hospitalized adult subjects with a COVID-19 infection confirmed via positive nasopharyngeal swab polymerase chain reaction test during the first wave of the pandemic in Uppsala, Sweden. In total, 566 subjects were sent a survey via e-mail or post with an invitation to participate in the survey 12 months post-diagnosis. The majority of subjects were healthcare workers, as this group was prioritized for testing.

Results: A total of 366 subjects responded, with 47% reporting persistent symptoms 12 months after their COVID-19 diagnosis. The most commonly reported symptoms at this time were impaired sense of smell and/or taste and fatigue. Among the predictors of persistent symptoms were being born abroad, lower physical fitness compared with peers before COVID-19, body mass index >25 kg/m2, cooccurrence of hypertension and chronic pain, and having more than seven of the general COVID-19 symptoms at the onset. Respondents with symptoms after 12 months self-reported negatively about their general health and work ability.

Conclusions: This study indicated that many people who had mild COVID-19 might have a variety of long-term symptoms. It highlights the importance of considering work ability after mild COVID-19.

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Published
2022-08-09
How to Cite
Kisiel M. A., Janols H., Nordqvist T., Bergquist J., Hagfeldt S., Malinovschi A., & Svartengren M. (2022). Predictors of post-COVID-19 and the impact of persistent symptoms in non-hospitalized patients 12 months after COVID-19, with a focus on work ability. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 127(1). https://doi.org/10.48101/ujms.v127.8794

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