Of the 2,469 COVID-19 patients discharged, from the Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, China, only 1,733 were eligible for the study that found that more than three-quarters of them had at least one persistent symptom six months later.
There are also important aspects that the study doesn't delve into, such as the patients' cognitive or neurological functions; neither does it report whether any patients suffered from anxiety or depression before the onset of COVID-19.
Medical experts have known for months that some COVID-19 patients could have lingering symptoms.More news: Why The PGA Championship Won't Happen At Trump's Course
For patients who required supplemental oxygen therapy and those who did not require oxygen therapy, the researchers said the figures were 29% and 22%, respectively. Fatigue or muscle weakness was reported by 63 per cent, while 26 per cent had sleep problems.
The study from China involved more than 1,700 patients first diagnosed with the virus in Wuhan between January and May, and then followed to June and September.
Healthcare professionals are becoming increasingly concerned that the long-term effects experienced by those COVID-19 patients who were hospitalised, may be underestimated.
In a Lancet commentary on the Chinese study, foreign scientists said it is rather surprising to find that some COVID-19 patients with good kidney health experienced lower than standard kidney function measured by the rate at which their kidneys are cleaning their blood, a key indicator of renal health. "Our work also underscores the importance of conducting longer follow-up studies in larger populations in order to understand the full spectrum of effects that COVID-19 can have on people" said study co-author Bin Cao, from National Center for Respiratory Medicine, China-Japan Friendship Hospital in China. The discharged patients also went through some physical examinations, lab tests and a six-minute walking test to scale their tolerance levels.More news: Britain expected to ban China imports linked to Uighur camps
A study has revealed that the microbiome could impact COVID-19 severity and may be implicated in persisting inflammatory symptoms. A similar study by the University of California, San Francisco, on long-term coronavirus symptoms will follow hundreds of patients for up to two years.
"The decline of neutralizing antibodies observed in the present study and other studies raises concern for SARS-CoV-2 reinfection", the researchers wrote, adding that "the risk of re-infection should be monitored for patients who present with compatible symptoms of Covid-19".
Nevertheless, they described the study by Huang and colleagues as "relevant and timely", noting that more than half of the cohort presented with residual chest imaging abnormalities and that disease severity during acute illness was independently associated with extent of lung diffusion at follow-up.More news: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Announced