When will long COVID-19 symptoms ease? New study offers clues

Most long COVID-19 symptoms among people who had a mild infection ease within a year, according to findings published Jan. 11 in The BMJ. 

For the purpose of the study, researchers in Israel defined long COVID-19 as symptoms that persist or develop more than four weeks after an initial COVID-19 diagnosis. Using Israel's second largest healthcare database, they analyzed data on nearly 2 million people who were tested for COVID-19 between March 2020 and October 2021. To focus the investigation on patients with mild illness, researchers excluded patients who were admitted to a hospital during the 30 days after infection. 

The findings indicate most symptoms tied to long COVID-19 — such as chest pain, hair loss, muscle aches and memory issues — eased within a year. Some symptoms like loss of taste and smell persisted for more than a year. 

"Although the long COVID-19 phenomenon has been feared and discussed since the beginning of the pandemic, we observed that most health outcomes arising after a mild disease course remained for several months and returned to normal within the first year," researchers said. 

Researchers cautioned that the study has several limitations. They told NBC News it may underestimate symptoms since it was based on health records, and some symptoms may not have been documented in physicians' notes. 

Access the full study here


Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars