Only 7.6% of patients recover after two years | The USA Print

Only 7.6% of patients recover after two years

Just a 7.6% of patients with persistent covid they have recovered during the first two years of suffering from the syndrome. This new disease, which in Catalonia affects some 200,000 people according to the doctors and for the one who still there’s no cureNow one of the great challenges of the health system, which must not only care for people who are already sick, but also prepare for those who will continue to get sick. Be women, have previous pathologies and a lower educational level are factors associated with risk of suffering persistent covid (‘long covid’, in English).

This is according to a recently published study in ‘The Lancet Regional Health-Europe’ and carried out by the Persistent Covid Unit of the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital (Can Ruti, in Badalona), the Lluita Foundation against Infections and the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute. Other previous works had already made estimates in this regard, but their results were more favorable than those of this

However, what was revealed by this investigation it is not trivial It is one of the larger and longer studies monitoring of the clinical evolution of people with persistent covid carried out so far. The Can Ruti unit specializing in this disease continued for two years to a total of 548 infected patients by covid-19, of which 207 fully recovered and others 341 developed persistent covid.

Of these 341, only 26 have been cured and most of them (24) belonged to the least symptomatic group. This results put the focus in need of health systems around the world prepare: a very large part of the patients of the first pandemic wave are not cured and many others will continue to get sick because the SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been extinguished. Also in the obligation to continue investigating in a new disease, which for now surrounds more unknowns than certainties.

disease prevalence

In Catalonia there is, officially, 15,036 people diagnosed with persistent covid, according to figures from Salut to which EL PERIÓDICO has had access. But doctors point out that the disease carries a gross underdiagnosis (many doctors are unaware of this pathology), so that the affected Catalans would actually amount to 200,000. In Spain, there would be More than a million. And all over the world, some 65 million, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

“The most relevant thing about the study is this: that only 7.6% of patients are cured after two years. That means there is a large number of affected. Covid-19 is not over so this will continue” warns the internist and coordinator of the Persistent Covid Unit of Can Ruti, Lourdes Mateo.

This disease for which there is no cure yet (treatment is only symptomatic) affects between 5% and 10% of those infected of coronavirus. They are people who continue to experience a wide variety of symptoms (brain fog, tiredness, breathing difficulties, neurological affectations) months after the infection. “The health system must be prepared to attend to this large number of patients. The primary care must have good care protocols. And it has to be invested in research, something that Catalonia is not doing. In USA, investigating persistent covid is priority”, adds Matthew.

Women, the most affected

The Can Ruti investigation has also made it possible to identify the risk factor’s when developing persistent covid: to be a woman, have previous illnesses at diagnosis and have a lower educational level (or a more difficult socioeconomic situation). “We have seen that Being a man and having been admitted to the ICU for covid increases the chances of recovering from persistent covid,” says Dr. Mateu.

“But we’ve also seen that patients with Higher studies heal more. It’s hard to know why: because they have a increased cognitive reserve or because they have more means to do rehabilitative treatments?”, she adds. She, in her unit, has seen people pass by with persistent covid symptoms who they had to work out of necessity, which “worsens” the symptoms. “It is evident that, if you have more money, you can afford to be at home, do more rehabilitation and it is more likely you’ll feel better,” says.

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This disease, warns this internist, is not just a health problem, but Also a social problem. “The mean age It is 47 years: are people in full working life”, points. Many of these patients must request sick leave (something that the Administration does not always make it easy for them, especially when it lasts). Of course, Mateu acknowledges that the persistent covid prevalence has decreased since the beginning of the pandemic: if with the original variants (Wuhan or delta) it was from fifteen%, with the omicron variant prevalence has dropped at 5%. “This is, in part, thanks to the effect of vaccines. be vaccinated prevents of the persistent covid. But unfortunately we also have patients with persistent covid vaccinated”, ensures.

In line with what was studied by Can Ruti and IrsiCaixa, a independent study conducted in the USA and recently published in Nature Medicine magazine has shown, in a cohort of more than six million people, that persistent covid can cause a higher level of disability than heart disease or cancer.

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