New Study: At Least 30% of Those Infected Had ‘Long COVID’
New research has found that 30% of people treated for COVID-19 developed persistent symptoms, commonly referred to as “long COVID”.
According to the study by the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), published in Springerspatients with a history of hospitalization due to COVID and those with diabetes and higher body mass index (BMI) were most likely to develop long COVID.
“Surprisingly, ethnicity, older age, and socioeconomic status were not associated with the syndrome — even though these characteristics have been linked to severe illness and increased risk of death from COVID-19,” says a press release from UCLA.
Among the 309 people with long COVID who were part of the study, the most persistent symptoms were fatigue and shortness of breath (31% and 15%, respectively) in those hospitalized, and loss of sense of smell ( 16%) in outpatients.
Overall, UCLA researchers looked at data from 1,038 people enrolled in the UCLA COVID Outpatient Program between April 2020 and February 2021. Of these, 309 developed long COVID. A study participant was determined to have long COVID if they reported persistent symptoms on questionnaires 60 or 90 days after infection or hospitalization, UCLA researchers said.
“This study illustrates the need to longitudinally follow diverse patient populations to understand the long COVID disease trajectory and assess how individual factors such as pre-existing comorbidities, sociodemographic factors, vaccination status and virus variant type affect the type and persistence of long COVID symptoms. said Sun Yoo, MD, assistant clinical professor of health sciences at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine and medical director of the Extensivist program.
Dr Yoo added that improvements in the diagnosis of long COVID are needed to “differentiate it from exacerbations of other emerging or chronic illnesses” and “ensure equitable access to long COVID outpatient care”.
Researchers: Even 1.25 hours of brisk walking per week may reduce risk of depression
Even short periods of physical activity, such as brisk walking, could significantly reduce the risk of depression, according to a new analysis of previous studies on the benefits of regular exercise.
The so-called meta-analysis, published in the JAMA Psychiatry journalfocused on 15 studies involving more than 190,000 people to determine the amount of exercise needed to reduce depression, a serious mental health condition that is common and can negatively affect daily life.
For overall health, US physical activity guidelines for adults include: at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking); or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of the two, preferably spread throughout the week. However, in the case of depression prevention, physical activity levels did not need to meet established guidelines to be effective.
The new analysis found that adults who participated in activities equivalent to 1.25 hours of brisk walking per week had an 18% lower risk of depression than those who did not exercise.
“A volume of activity equivalent to 2.5 hours of brisk walking per week (the minimum recommended by US guidelines) was associated with a 25% lower risk of depression,” the study authors said.
Only minor additional benefits were seen at higher activity levels, the researchers said.
The study concluded: “This systematic review and meta-analysis of associations between physical activity and depression suggests significant mental health benefits of physical activity, even at levels below public health recommendations. Health practitioners should therefore encourage any increase in physical activity to improve mental health.
Pfizer-BioNTech plans to seek COVID recall approval for children ages 5-11
Pfizer-BioNTech plans to submit an application for emergency authorization of a booster dose for children aged 5 to 11 after the companies reported that a third dose significantly increased antibody levels in children. children in this age group in a clinical trial.
The booster shot trial included 140 children aged 5 to 11 years. In 30 children, Pfizer said. After analyzing antibody levels in a subset of 30 children, the researchers measured a 36-fold increase in antibodies against the Omicron variant. The children received a booster dose approximately 6 months after the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. There was no evidence of previous COVID-19 infection among the 140 study participants.
The companies said there were no safety concerns associated with a booster dose in these small groups of children. A first series of two 10 mcg doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has already been authorized by US regulatory authorities for this age group in October 2021.
Booster doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine are already authorized for ages 12 and older.