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Multiorgan impairment in low-risk individuals with post-COVID-19 syndrome: a prospective, community-based study

Dennis, A; Wamil, M; Alberts, J; Oben, J; Cuthbertson, DJ; Wootton, D; Crooks, M; ... COVERSCAN study investigators, .; + view all (2021) Multiorgan impairment in low-risk individuals with post-COVID-19 syndrome: a prospective, community-based study. BMJ Open , 11 (3) , Article e048391. 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048391. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To assess medium-term organ impairment in symptomatic individuals following recovery from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. DESIGN: Baseline findings from a prospective, observational cohort study. SETTING: Community-based individuals from two UK centres between 1 April and 14 September 2020. PARTICIPANTS: Individuals ≥18 years with persistent symptoms following recovery from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and age-matched healthy controls. INTERVENTION: Assessment of symptoms by standardised questionnaires (EQ-5D-5L, Dyspnoea-12) and organ-specific metrics by biochemical assessment and quantitative MRI. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Severe post-COVID-19 syndrome defined as ongoing respiratory symptoms and/or moderate functional impairment in activities of daily living; single-organ and multiorgan impairment (heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, spleen) by consensus definitions at baseline investigation. RESULTS: 201 individuals (mean age 45, range 21-71 years, 71% female, 88% white, 32% healthcare workers) completed the baseline assessment (median of 141 days following SARS-CoV-2 infection, IQR 110-162). The study population was at low risk of COVID-19 mortality (obesity 20%, hypertension 7%, type 2 diabetes 2%, heart disease 5%), with only 19% hospitalised with COVID-19. 42% of individuals had 10 or more symptoms and 60% had severe post-COVID-19 syndrome. Fatigue (98%), muscle aches (87%), breathlessness (88%) and headaches (83%) were most frequently reported. Mild organ impairment was present in the heart (26%), lungs (11%), kidneys (4%), liver (28%), pancreas (40%) and spleen (4%), with single-organ and multiorgan impairment in 70% and 29%, respectively. Hospitalisation was associated with older age (p=0.001), non-white ethnicity (p=0.016), increased liver volume (p<0.0001), pancreatic inflammation (p<0.01), and fat accumulation in the liver (p<0.05) and pancreas (p<0.01). Severe post-COVID-19 syndrome was associated with radiological evidence of cardiac damage (myocarditis) (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In individuals at low risk of COVID-19 mortality with ongoing symptoms, 70% have impairment in one or more organs 4 months after initial COVID-19 symptoms, with implications for healthcare and public health, which have assumed low risk in young people with no comorbidities. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04369807; Pre-results.

Type: Article
Title: Multiorgan impairment in low-risk individuals with post-COVID-19 syndrome: a prospective, community-based study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048391
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-048391
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) (or their employer[s]) 2021. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: COVID-19, epidemiology, health policy, public health
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125867
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