Home Health and Fitness Tired of Cancer? Long COVID Might Be Worse

Tired of Cancer? Long COVID Might Be Worse

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pain, fatigue and cancer concept

A study by researchers at UCL and the University of Exeter found that fatigue, the most significant symptom of long-term COVID-19, severely impacts patients’ daily lives. In this study, long-term COVID-19 patients had lower health-related quality of life scores than those with advanced-stage cancer. The impact on daily life was worse than for stroke patients and similar to Parkinson’s disease.

Long-term COVID-19 fatigue and quality of life decline worse than certain cancers

Fatigue, a long-term COVID-19 cardinal symptom, may have a debilitating impact on patients’ lives comparable to severe kidney disease and advanced cancer, with social and economic impact, new research suggests. One thing became clear. This highlights the need for focused resources to better manage and understand state.

Fatigue is the most disabling symptom of long-term COVID-19 patients, and may have a greater impact on quality of life than some cancers, according to University College London (UCL). ), according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Exeter.

This research BMJ Open The long-term impact of COVID-19 on the lives of more than 3,750 NIHR-funded, long-term COVID-19 clinic referred patients who used digital apps as part of their NHS care To investigate the. .

Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire on the app about how long the effects of the new coronavirus lasted. It took into account the long-term effects of COVID-19 on daily activities, fatigue, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, headaches and quality of life. .

Researchers found that many long-standing COVID-19 patients were critically ill and, on average, had fatigue scores that were worse or similar to those with cancer-related anemia and severe kidney disease. . Their health-related quality of life scores were also lower than those of patients with advanced metastatic cancer, such as stage IV lung cancer.

Overall, the researchers found that the long-term impact of COVID-19 on patients’ daily activities was worse than that of stroke patients and comparable to that of Parkinson’s patients.

Dr. Henry Goodfellow, who co-led the study with the late Professor Elizabeth Murray, both at the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health, said, “Up to about 17% of people infected with COVID-19 develop long-term COVID-19*. However, the impact of this condition on patients’ daily lives is not fully understood.

“Our findings show that prolonged COVID-19 can have a devastating impact on patients’ lives, with fatigue affecting everything from social activities to work, household chores, and maintaining intimate relationships. , has been found to have the greatest impact on all.”

Researchers believe that the prolongation of the new coronavirus will not only adversely affect the lives of patients at the individual level, but also have a significant economic and social impact on the country.

To be referred to a long-term coronavirus clinic, patients must have had symptoms associated with long-term coronavirus for at least 12 weeks after acute infection.

More than 90% of long-term COVID-19 patients using the app are of working age (ages 18-65), 51% said they were unable to work at least one day in the previous month, and 20% said they were unable to work at all. bottom.

On the other hand, 71% of patients were female. As working-age women make up a large portion of the health and social services workforce, the impact of the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic on their capacity to function will put additional pressure on already stretched services. there is a possibility.

Dr. Goodfellow said: “A better understanding of the long-term symptoms and impact of COVID-19 in these patients will enable the NHS and policy makers to adapt existing services or design new services to better meet patient needs over the long term. We hope that by doing so, we can help target limited resources,” said COVID. “

As of July 2022, about 1.4 million people in the UK have long-term COVID-19 symptoms, according to the Office for National Statistics. Patients usually experience shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, and brain fog in addition to fatigue.

However, this is the first study to report the impact of the condition on daily functioning and health-related quality of life in patients referred for specialized rehabilitation in long-term COVID-19 clinics across the UK.

Dr. Goodfellow said: “Our findings indicate that fatigue should be an important focus in the design of clinical care and rehabilitation services.

“Post-COVID-19 assessment services should consider focusing on fatigue assessment and treatment to maximize long-term COVID-19 patient recovery and return to work. be.”

Co-author Professor William Henry of the University of Exeter School of Medicine said: Shockingly, our research finds support and It became clear that understanding was not on the same level. Further research is urgently needed to enable the development of evidence-based services to support those trying to cope with this debilitating new condition. ”

The study was carried out in collaboration with partners at the University of Southampton, University of Exeter, Barts Health NHS Trust, University College London Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Free Hospital and Living With Limited.

Limitations of research

Because the patients in the study were on treatment, they likely had worse symptoms than untreated patients. But researchers don’t know details about long-standing COVID-19 patients who choose not to seek help because of their symptoms.

Reference: “The effect of fatigue as a major determinant of functional limitation in post-injury patients”.[{” attribute=””>COVID-19 syndrome: a cross-sectional observational study” by Sarah Walker, Henry Goodfellow, Patra Pookarnjanamorakot, Elizabeth Murray, Julia Bindman, Ann Blandford, Katherine Bradbury, Belinda Cooper, Fiona L Hamilton, John R Hurst, Hannah Hylton, Stuart Linke, Paul Pfeffer, William Ricketts, Chris Robson, Fiona A Stevenson, David Sunkersing, Jiunn Wang, Manuel Gomes, William Henley, Living With Covid Recovery Collaboration, 7 June 2023, BMJ Open.
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-069217

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