Long COVID a Global Issue for Patients and Healthcare Systems, Review Finds

By Reuters Staff

February 18, 2022

(Reuters) - British researchers led by Oxford University said on Friday that the current understanding of long COVID and options to treat it is emerging as a major long-term issue for global healthcare systems after reviewing the illness' effects on patients.

The review, published in the European Heart Journal, says the problem is threatening to become "a new epidemic" and includes discussion of the definition of long COVID and its epidemiology, with an emphasis on cardiopulmonary symptoms.

The study looks at pathophysiological mechanisms and direct impacts of a coronavirus infection, such as myocardial infarction or inflammatory myocarditis, as well as long-term effects such as fatigue and mental health impact.

The authors also propose a possible model for referral of post-COVID-19 patients to cardiac services, and discuss future directions, including clinical trials to evaluate treatment strategies for long COVID and its aftereffects.

"Long COVID is, besides its huge impact for the affected individual, of great societal and economic importance as it leads to leave of absence from work, reduced work performance and hence unforeseen costs," said study coauthor Thomas Lüscher from the Royal Brompton and Harefield Clinical Group.

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/3HdVpTH European Heart Journal, online February 18, 2022.