Over Half COVID Survivors Experience Symptoms Two Years After Infection: Study

While 55 percent showed at least one symptom two years after infection, overall quality of life improved in most.

2 min read
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A study shows that even two years after recovery, people who were infected with COVID-19 and hospitalized experienced at least one lingering symptom of COVID.

However, it also added that most quality of life markers returned to normal two years after infection.

The study, which was published in the Lancet journal, followed 2,469 patients from Wuhan, China, who were infected with COVID-19 and recovered.

The patients who suffered different severities of COVID-19 were discharged from Wuhan's public Jin Yin-tan Hospital between 7 January 2020 and 29 May 2020. They were followed up with over the next two years, at intervals of six months, 12 months, and two years.


The study's final number of patients assessed was at 1149 people over the span of two years. The study showed that those suffering from symptoms of long COVID fell from 68 percent at six months, to 49 percent at one year, but increased to 55 percent at the two-year mark. The study adds:

"Fatigue or muscle weakness and sleep difficulties were the most commonly reported symptomatic sequelae throughout the 2-year follow-up, regardless of disease severity."

This means, that two years since a COVID infection, more than half of all the people tested still reported sleep difficulties and muscle weakness.

However, the study did find that two years after infection, the proportion of people suffering from difficulties breathing fell from 26 percent at six months to 14 percent at two years.

Overall quality of life significantly improved by the two-year mark, according to the study.

Mental health markers of long COVID, like anxiety and depression, also fell from 23 percent at 6 months to 12 percent at two years.


The study does indicate that life returned to normal in most cases for those infected with COVID-19, two years on. It adds:

"As for mental health assessed by psychiatry-specific questionnaires, 98 people, 8 percent of 1187, had anxiety symptoms at two years."

It adds that two years on, only 6 percent of 1190 had depression symptoms, and 2 percent had PTSD symptoms.

226 people, or 19 percent of 1187 participants, had outpatient clinic visits and 159 or 13 percent were hospitalized over the 2 year span, mainly due to pre-existing illnesses.

438 people i.e., 89 percent, of the 494 participants who had a job before their COVID-19 infection had also returned to their original work two years since.

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Topics:  COVID-19   Covid symptoms   long COVID 

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