The long-term consequences of COVID-19 in those who recover from acute infection requiring hospitalization have not been defined yet. In this study, we aim to describe the long-term symptoms and respiratory outcomes over 12 months in patients hospitalized for severe COVID-19. In this prospective cohort study, patients admitted to hospital for severe COVID-19 were prospectively followed up at 6 and 12 months after discharge from the Hospital of Fermo, Italy. Patients were interviewed for persisting symptoms and underwent physical examination, routine blood test, pulmonary function tests, chest high-resolution CT (HRCT), and 6 min walking test. A total of 64 patients were evaluated and participated in this study. The mean age of participants was 68 years, 41 (64%) were males, and the median body mass index (BMI) was 26 kg/m2. After 6 months, 36% of patients reported persistent dyspnea, 37.5% persistent fatigue, 30.6% hair loss, 14% arthralgia and 11% memory and attention deficits. The rate of these symptoms reduced at the 12 month follow-up. At least 50% of the patients reported anxiety and depression symptoms. At 6 months 57.4% of patients showed reduced DLCO and 21.3% reduced FVC% and improvement at 12 months was noted for FVC but not for DLCO and TLC. Persistent radiographic abnormalities, most commonly ground-glass opacities and interstitial changes, were observed at both timepoints in many patients. Long-term symptoms and pulmonary deficits are common in patients admitted for severe COVID-19. Further studies are needed to assess the clinical significance of long-term consequences of severe COVID-19.
6 and 12 month outcomes in patients following COVID-19-related hospitalization: a prospective monocentric study / Martino, G. P.; Benfaremo, D.; Bitti, G.; Valeri, G.; Postacchini, L.; Marchetti, A.; Angelici, S.; Moroncini, G.. - In: INTERNAL AND EMERGENCY MEDICINE. - ISSN 1828-0447. - (2022). [10.1007/s11739-022-02979-x]