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
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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