In the so-called COVIDOM study, scientists analyzed 1,400 survivors of a corona infection. According to UKSH, most of the respondents had mild or moderate disease. Less than ten percent required hospital treatment. Nevertheless, every second study participant reported complaints that persisted even after the acute phase of the disease. The study authors were able to determine clinically relevant long-term consequences in approximately 10 to 20 percent of the subjects. Depending on where they were tested, only 15 to 30 percent of people reported being completely undamaged nine months after infection. For the rest, however, it remains unclear whether the corona infection was actually the cause of the symptoms that are still being felt
Study: The psyche also plays a role
Scientists discovered two other things. “As expected, severe acute disease symptoms increased the risk of post-Covid syndrome,” said Thomas Bahmer, head of the Kiel research group, internist and pneumologist. What surprised Bahmer and his team, however, was that low psychosocial resilience and low psychological resilience can also lead to post-Covid. This is especially true for people who feel that their crisis resistance is low and therefore may have difficulty coping with viral disease.
A new classification system has been applied
Scientists have developed a new classification system. Thanks to this system, it is possible to record the advancement of the post-Covid syndrome (PCS). The so-called PSC score is based on twelve questions targeting different symptom areas. The subjects were asked questions after the acute phase of their infection to cover as many aspects of the post-Covid syndrome suspicion as possible. UKSH President Jens Scholz calls the result “scientific progress” and adds: “It is also of great importance as a control element in the daily practice of patient care.”
One study – many researchers
In addition to the University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, the University Hospital of Würzburg, Charité Berlin and the Christian University also participated in the study. The research began in March 2020. The subjects came from Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Franconia and Berlin (Neukölln). They are now being interviewed for a second – about a year after their first visit to the research centers.
“Long Covid” and “After Covid”
The term “Long Covid” originally describes symptoms that persist or develop after an acute phase of the disease lasting four weeks. “Post-Covid Syndrome” refers to complaints that are still present three months after being infected with COVID and cannot be explained otherwise.