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Systematic Review

Long-Term Impact of COVID-19: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis

1
Department of Respiratory Therapy, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T6, Canada
2
School of Nursing, Jilin University, Changchun 130012, China
3
Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago 8320000, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
International Physiotherapy Research Network (PhysioEvidence).
Academic Editors: Mauro Maniscalco and Pasquale Ambrosino
Biomedicines 2021, 9(8), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9080900
Received: 7 July 2021 / Revised: 21 July 2021 / Accepted: 23 July 2021 / Published: 27 July 2021
Background: The long-term impact of COVID-19 is still unknown. This study aimed to explore post COVID-19 effects on patients chest computed tomography (CT), lung function, respiratory symptoms, fatigue, functional capacity, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and the ability to return to work beyond 3 months post infection. Methods: A systematic search was performed on PubMed, Web of Science, and Ovid MEDLINE on 22 May 2021, to identify studies that reported persistent effects of COVID-19 beyond 3 months follow-up. Data on the proportion of patients who had the outcome were collected and analyzed using a one-group meta-analysis. Results: Data were extracted from 24 articles that presented information on a total of 5323 adults, post-infection, between 3 to 6 months after symptom onset or hospital discharge. The pooled prevalence of CT abnormalities was 59% (95% CI 44–73, I2 = 96%), abnormal lung function was 39% (95% CI 24–55, I2 = 94%), fatigue was 38% (95% CI 27–49, I2 = 98%), dyspnea was 32% (95% CI 24–40, I2 = 98%), chest paint/tightness was 16% (95% CI 12–21, I2 = 94%), and cough was 13%, (95% CI 9–17, I2 = 94%). Decreased functional capacity and HRQoL were found in 36% (95% CI 22–49, I2 = 97%) and 52% (95% CI 33–71, I2 = 94%), respectively. On average, 8 out of 10 of the patients had returned to work or reported no work impairment. Conclusion: Post-COVID-19 patients may experience persistent respiratory symptoms, fatigue, decreased functional capacity and decreased quality of life up to 6 months after infection. Further studies are needed to establish the extent to which post-COVID-19 effects continue beyond 6 months, how they interact with each other, and to clarify their causes and their effective management. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; persistent symptoms; long-term effects; follow-up; lung function; respiratory symptoms; fatigue; functional capacity; quality of life COVID-19; persistent symptoms; long-term effects; follow-up; lung function; respiratory symptoms; fatigue; functional capacity; quality of life
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sanchez-Ramirez, D.C.; Normand, K.; Zhaoyun, Y.; Torres-Castro, R. Long-Term Impact of COVID-19: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis. Biomedicines 2021, 9, 900. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9080900

AMA Style

Sanchez-Ramirez DC, Normand K, Zhaoyun Y, Torres-Castro R. Long-Term Impact of COVID-19: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis. Biomedicines. 2021; 9(8):900. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9080900

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sanchez-Ramirez, Diana C., Kaylene Normand, Yang Zhaoyun, and Rodrigo Torres-Castro. 2021. "Long-Term Impact of COVID-19: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis" Biomedicines 9, no. 8: 900. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9080900

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