Women, those who are obese and those on mechanical ventilation are all more likely to suffer from the effects long-term COVID-19

New research has revealed that only one in four UK patients hospitalised with COVID-19 say they are fully recovered 12 months later.

Women, those who are obese and individuals on mechanical ventilation in hospital all have an increased likelihood of suffering from long COVID.

The most common ongoing long-COVID-19 symptoms are fatigue, muscle pain, physically slowing down, poor sleep and breathlessness. Researchers state that long COVID-19 is becoming a highly prevalent new long-term condition.

A study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine revealed that more than 2,000 patients were studied post-hospitalisation, to determine the impact of long COVID. Patients from 39 NHS hospitals agreed to five-month and one year follow-up assessments, alongside their clinical care.

Following the analysis, women were 32% less likely to be fully recovered after a year, those who were obese were half as likely and those that were on mechanical ventilation were 5% less likely to be fully recovered after one year.

Professor Louise Wain, the British Lung Foundation Chair in Respiratory Research, explained: "No specific therapeutics exist for long COVID-19 and our data highlight that effective interventions are urgently required. Our findings of persistent systemic inflammation, particularly in those in the very severe and moderate with cognitive impairment clusters, suggest that these groups might respond to anti-inflammatory strategies.

"The concordance of the severity of physical and mental health impairment in long COVID highlights the need not only for close integration between physical and mental health care for patients with long COVID, including assessment and interventions, but also for knowledge transfer between health-care professionals to improve patient care.”

"The finding also suggests the need for complex interventions that target both physical and mental health impairments to alleviate symptoms. However, specific therapeutic approaches to manage post-traumatic stress disorder might also be needed,” she concluded.