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Attributes and predictors of long COVID

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Carole H. Sudre, Benjamin Murray, Thomas Varsavsky, Mark S. Graham, Rose S. Penfold, Ruth C. Bowyer, Joan Capdevila Pujol, Kerstin Klaser, Michela Antonelli, Liane S. Canas, Erika Molteni, Marc Modat, M. Jorge Cardoso, Anna May, Sajaysurya Ganesh, Richard Davies, Long H. Nguyen, David A. Drew, Christina M. Astley, Amit D. Joshi & 13 more Jordi Merino, Neli Tsereteli, Tove Fall, Maria F. Gomez, Emma L. Duncan, Cristina Menni, Frances M.K. Williams, Paul W. Franks, Andrew T. Chan, Jonathan Wolf, Sebastien Ourselin, Tim Spector, Claire J. Steves

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-631
Number of pages6
JournalNature Medicine
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
Accepted/In press2021
PublishedApr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

Reports of long-lasting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms, the so-called ‘long COVID’, are rising but little is known about prevalence, risk factors or whether it is possible to predict a protracted course early in the disease. We analyzed data from 4,182 incident cases of COVID-19 in which individuals self-reported their symptoms prospectively in the COVID Symptom Study app1. A total of 558 (13.3%) participants reported symptoms lasting ≥28 days, 189 (4.5%) for ≥8 weeks and 95 (2.3%) for ≥12 weeks. Long COVID was characterized by symptoms of fatigue, headache, dyspnea and anosmia and was more likely with increasing age and body mass index and female sex. Experiencing more than five symptoms during the first week of illness was associated with long COVID (odds ratio = 3.53 (2.76–4.50)). A simple model to distinguish between short COVID and long COVID at 7 days (total sample size, n = 2,149) showed an area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristic curve of 76%, with replication in an independent sample of 2,472 individuals who were positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. This model could be used to identify individuals at risk of long COVID for trials of prevention or treatment and to plan education and rehabilitation services.

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