Some symptoms are more predictive of long Covid than others

Adapted from Sudre CR et al medRxiv 19 Dec 2020

This paper has not been finalised for peer review yet and could change. I decided to publish this because many of us are wondering why some people, especially younger people, seem more prone to long Covid than others. This paper does not yet tell us why, but gives some information on the pattern of symptoms that seems more linked to prolonged symptoms.

The findings were that if you have six or more symptoms during the first week of Covid-19 there tends to be a higher risk of long Covid. The 5 most predictive symptoms are: fatigue, headache, breathlessness, hoarseness and muscle pain. In adults over the age of 70, loss of smell was most predictive.

Of 4182 patients who were interviewed prospectively about their symptoms using a phone app from the UK, Sweden and the USA:

13.3% had symptoms for a month. 4.5% for two months. 2.6% for three months. 38% had “short-Covid”.

Factors that increased the possibility that recovery would be prolonged were: being a woman, having pre-existing asthma and having five or more symptoms.

In the over 70s, loss of sense of smell, fever and hoarseness were most predictive.

2 thoughts on “Some symptoms are more predictive of long Covid than others”

  1. I think that makes sense. If you had six symptoms of these i think you would be pretty ill. I would be interested in how many of the 4K participants had more than 3 symptoms.


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