Classification of post COVID-19 condition symptoms [Nayani et al. 2023]

BMJ Open published an assessment of the distribution and classification of post COVID-19 condition symptoms. In addition, Nayani and colleagues investigated the the sociodemographic and clinical factors associated with adults with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the general Belgian population.

Data for Belgian adults with a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection were collected between 29 April 2021 and 6 January 2022 using a longitudinal online cohort study design. A total of 3039 participants were included and completed an online questionnaire at the time of their infection and again 3 months later.

Findings indicate that three different groups of PCC symptoms could be distinguished with different risk factors for each class. 

(1) a combination of symptoms of loss of smell and taste: risk factors include having a chronic disease, having with at least one acute COVID-19 symptom, hospitalisation following the infection, and having less than 2 days of physical activity per week; 

(2) a combination of neurological symptoms such as headache, memory problems, and fatigue: risk factors include female gender, higher education, and having a history of mental health problems; 

(3) a combination of many heterogeneous symptoms: risk factors include female gender, higher education, being overweight or obese, having at least one acute COVID-19 symptom, and hospitalisation following the infection

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Sciensano, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Service Health Information