A new study has revealed who is most likely to get the lasting symptoms of the coronavirus disease Covid 19 – known as Long Covid.
While those who recover from Covid-19 generally have a disease that lasts just a few days – 10 per cent suffer symptoms that last more than three weeks, and some are still suffering months on.
Some studies have estimated Long Covid – which could be four different syndromes – could hit 35 per cent of Covid sufferers.
The symptoms can suddenly appear weeks after the initial infection appears to have cleared up
The symptoms include extreme fatigue, hair loss, depression, anxiety, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, long-term loss of taste or smell, respiratory problems, heart problems and a tight chest, liver and kidney problems, diarrhoea, pain and inflammation throughout the body, rashes and blood clotting problems.
Now, researchers from King’s College London have revealed which Covid-19 patients are most likely to get long Covid.
Their findings indicate that women are more likely to get long Covid than men.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Claire Steves, who worked on the study, said: “We’ve seen from the early data coming out that men were at much more risk of very severe disease and sadly of dying from Covid, it appears that women are more at risk of long Covid.”
Other factors that appear to increase your risk of long Covid include being over 50 years old, having excess weight, and having asthma.
Meanwhile, those who experienced more than just a cough when they developed Covid-19 are at higher risk of long Covid.
Dr Steves added: “Having more than five different symptoms in the first week was one of the key risk factors.”
The findings come from the Covid Symptom Study app, which is currently being used by over 4.3 million Brits.
In the study, which is due to be published online, the researchers used data from the app to find patterns linked to long Covid.
Tim Spector, lead investigator of the COVID Symptom Study app, said: “Using clinical data from the over four million people who downloaded the COVID Symptom Study app run by ZOE and KCL, we have a unique insight into the long-term problems suffered by COVID-19 patients who didn’t go to hospital.
“Our data shows us that over one in 10 still have problems a month on and around one in 50 are still suffering after three months. Long covid sufferers experience a broad range of symptoms, which include up to 20 different problems and not just the three ‘classic’ symptoms used for diagnosis.
“This tells us that this is a multisystem disease that requires a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment.”