Research to improve people's health


The research, led by IDIAPJGol researchers, has examined the effects of persistent COVID to enhance its treatment in primary care

The patients who have been part of the study report that neurological symptoms were the most frequent as initial symptoms, followed by respiratory symptoms.

Covid persistent

A study conducted by an international team of researchers, with the participation of IDIAPJGol researchers, has characterised, grouped, and identified patterns in the symptoms of persistent COVID. The research shows how general and neurological symptoms were the most frequent as initial symptoms, followed by respiratory symptoms in both women and men. However, it has found differences as men and women tend to display distinct patterns due to the wide variety of symptoms caused by this virus.

The publication of this research paper has significant implications for the long-term management of COVID-19 patients in primary care. It highlights the diversity and persistence of symptoms, emphasizing the importance of understanding gender differences in symptom patterns to tailor treatment strategies. This knowledge can guide professionals to provide comprehensive and personalised care to patients with persistent COVID, considering the varied and evolving nature of their symptoms.

Research on persistent COVID-19 reveals that, although general symptoms such as fatigue are prevalent in both sexes at three temporal points, there are notable gender differences in dermatological, olfactory, and neurocognitive symptoms. Five symptom groups were identified, with the taste and smell group and the multisystemic group being more prevalent in men, while the menstrual group was the most stable over time. The research suggests that the evolution of persistent COVID-19 symptoms is complex and variable, with different trajectories and phenotypes.

The patient sample in Catalonia was recruited through a recruitment process in collaboration with the group of persistent COVID-affected individuals. An online survey was conducted between March 2020 and June 2021, mainly with non-hospitalized patients. Convenience and snowball sampling methods were used. The online survey collected responses from 905 participants, with an average time of 8 to 9 months between the onset of symptoms and the questionnaire response. Data on 117 symptoms grouped into 18 categories were collected, and an analysis was conducted, dividing the periods into the first 21 days, 22-60 days, and 3 months.

*IDIAP Jordi Gol researchers

Torrell, G., Puente, D*., Jacques-Aviñó, C*., Carrasco-Ribelles, L. A*., Violán, C*., López-Jiménez, T., Royano, V., Cantón, A. M., Medina-Perucha, L*., Rodríguez-Giralt, I., & Berenguera, A.* (2024). Characterisation, symptom pattern and symptom clusters from a retrospective cohort of Long COVID patients in primary care in Catalonia. BMC Infectious Diseases, 24(1), 82.