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Business News/ News / India/  ICMR study finds covid symptoms lasting for long
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ICMR study finds covid symptoms lasting for long

The study was conducted with the goal to effectively manage post-covid morbidities

Data was collected from a hospital-based registry comprising 8,042 patients admitted to 31 healthcare facilities across India between September 2020 and October 2022. Premium
Data was collected from a hospital-based registry comprising 8,042 patients admitted to 31 healthcare facilities across India between September 2020 and October 2022.

New Delhi: Post covid-19 health complications were observed in a significant portion of patients, according to a recent study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The study found that 18.6% individuals experienced difficulty in breathing (dyspnea), 10.5% reported fatigue, and 9.3% faced mental health issues after being discharged from hospitals.

Data was collected from a hospital-based registry comprising 8,042 patients admitted to 31 healthcare facilities across India between September 2020 and October 2022. The study was conducted with the goal to effectively manage post-covid morbidities. After their discharge from hospitals, the covid-19 patients were followed up via telephone for up to one year.

The Union health ministry defines post-covid syndrome as a condition emerging during infection, persists for more than 12 weeks after recovery, and remains unexplained.

“The effects of covid infection persist beyond the active phase. Comprehensive analysis of the post-covid complications and symptoms in different patients is critical to minimize the long-term morbidity and mortality associated with infection. This analysis was conducted with the objective to estimate the frequency of post- covid sequelae and designing a framework for holistic management of post-covid morbidities," Dr Samiran Panda, ICMR scientist and author of the study published in BMJ Global Health medical journal, said.

“This is the first such study and is important because those having co-morbidities have a higher chance of death and should be taken care of accordingly while those with no pre-existing diseases have lesser chances of death with due care," he added.

“Dyspnoea, fatigue or mental health issues were reported among 18.6%, 10.5% and 9.3% of the participants at first follow-up of 30–60 days after discharge, respectively, which reduced to 11.9%, 6.6% and 9%, respectively, at one-year follow-up in 2,192 participants. Patients who died within 90 days post discharge were older with at least one comorbidity and a higher proportion had required intensive care unit admission during the initial hospitalization for covid-19. Moreover, anti-covid vaccine (at least one dose) was protective against post-discharge mortality," said Dr Panda.

The frequency of post covid-19 symptoms was also segregated by the three waves of the pandemic—with alpha, delta and omicron wave.

“Omicron was less symptom producing variant however, the earlier variants in the first and second waves were more aggressive. By the time Omicron came, the entire population was exposed to covid which helped in developing immunity to the population," said Dr Panda.

“Among those who died, a significantly higher proportion were above 60 years of age (44.2% vs 30.7%), had at least one comorbidity (68.2% vs 52.3%) and had required ICU admission during their hospital stay (29% vs 11.7%) as compared with survivors. A definitive cause of death was available in only 137 patients; majority (88, 64.2%) had died owing to cardiac causes that included heart failure and myocardial infarction. Respiratory failure and sepsis shock caused death among 26 (19%) and 15 (10.9%) participants, respectively," the study stated.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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Published: 13 Oct 2023, 11:13 PM IST
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