11/11/2022 07:57 (act 11/11/2022 10:04)
Long Covid most commonly includes heart problems and chronic fatigue syndrome. ©APA (Subject)
Doctors expect the Long Covid to mean that around 20% of those affected will no longer be able to return to work due to permanent health restrictions.
The individual phases of the Covid-19 pandemic have affected different population groups with different intensity and different regions of the world. What remains is Long Covid. These problems most commonly include heart problems and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Longo Covid: those affected are often unable to return to work
“We will have to reckon with the fact that around 20% of people affected by Long Covid will no longer be able to integrate into working life.” This was recently said by the Viennese pulmonologist (Floridsdorf Clinic) Arshang Valipour. Latest US data: According to a survey, 7.3% of adults are affected by the long-term effects of the infection and up to 10% between 25 to 45 years old.
The term Long Covid does not come from science. According to the German Robert Koch Institute (Berlin), it was initially shaped on social media by people who reported lasting health restrictions after being infected with SARS-CoV-2. The British National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline recommendation, published in late 2020, defines long-term covid as health problems that persist or recur beyond the acute phase of a four-year SARS-CoV-2 infection. weeks.
Post-Covid syndrome can also worsen underlying conditions
Post-Covid syndrome is the term used to describe symptoms that are still present more than twelve weeks after the onset of SARS-CoV-2 infection and cannot be explained otherwise. “Long Covid” therefore includes symptoms that are still present four to twelve weeks after the onset of symptoms after acute Covid-19 illness, as well as “post-Covid-19 syndrome”.
A German medical guideline also added worsening of pre-existing underlying diseases as a possible sign of Long Covid/Post Covid status. There are also apparently specific organ problems: deterioration of lung function, limitations of kidney function, cardiovascular disease (eg, myocarditis, heart attack, stroke, and thromboembolism), and diabetes mellitus.
New data on heart problems and exhaustion from Long Covid
New data are available on two serious manifestations of the long-term complications of SARS-CoV-2 infection: heart problems and chronic fatigue syndrome.
A team of scientists led by Valentina Puntmann and Eike Nagel from the University Hospital Frankfurt and Goethe University examined around 350 people without previously known heart problems at fixed intervals after surviving a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The researchers found that nearly a year later, more than half of the subjects still reported heart symptoms, such as exercise intolerance, tachycardia, and chest pain. According to this test, symptoms can be traced back to mild, persistent heart inflammation. Incidentally, pronounced structural heart disease is not a feature of the syndrome. (Nature Medicine; DOI 10.1038/s41591-022-02000-0).
The Frankfurt scientists examined 346 people – half women and half men – aged between 18 and 77 years, about four and eleven months after surviving a SARS-CoV-2 infection. For this, the blood of study participants was analyzed, MRI images of the heart were taken and their symptoms were recorded and evaluated using standardized questionnaires.
The result: 73% of people complained of heart problems at baseline, and 57% still had these symptoms up to eleven months after being infected with SARS-CoV-2. Thus, the scientific team was able to identify mild but persistent cardiac inflammation that was not associated with structural changes in the heart valves or heart walls. This is different from problems like this caused by other primary diseases.
Severely reduced performance after corona disease
According to German experts, the clinical picture resembles chronic diffuse inflammatory syndromes, such as those found in autoimmune diseases. Typical for long covid or post covid syndrome are conditions with severely reduced performance, exhaustion, etc.
Scientists at the Berlin University Clinic proved some time ago that it is not a psychosomatic disorder, but an organic disease. An important diagnostic criterion could be the measurement of hand strength. ME/CFS chronic fatigue syndrome is mainly characterized by weakness or excessive fatigue of the muscles.
Carmen Scheibenbogen, from the Institute of Medical Immunology, directs the Charite Fatigue Center, which specializes in the diagnosis of ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). For one study, scientists examined 42 people who came into contact with the center at least six months after being infected with SARS-CoV-2 because they were still suffering from severe conditions of morbid exhaustion and limited resilience in their everyday lives. Most of them were only able to do light work for two to four hours a day, some were unable to work and could barely support themselves.
Handkraft provides information on the severity of Covid-19
The severity of the surviving Covid 19 disease was apparently not decisive. During the acute SARS-CoV-2 infection, only three of the 42 patients went to a hospital but did not need oxygen. 32 of them had a mild course of Covid 19 according to the WHO classification, that is, they did not develop pneumonia, but generally experienced severe symptoms such as fever, cough, muscle and body aches for one to two weeks.
What Berlin scientists have discovered so far about ME/CFS: A measurably reduced hand strength apparently correlates with the severity of the problems and with the concentration of the hormone NT-proBNP, which can be released by muscle cells when oxygen supply is reduced. poor. This could indicate that reduced blood flow is responsible for your muscle weakness. The concentration of NT-proBNP in the blood is a marker of muscle damage and has also been used for years, for example, to diagnose acute heart failure.