Hair loss and low sex drive among wider symptoms of long Covid

·1-min read
Patterns of symptoms tended to be grouped into respiratory symptoms, mental health and cognitive problems, and then a broader range of symptoms (PA)
Patterns of symptoms tended to be grouped into respiratory symptoms, mental health and cognitive problems, and then a broader range of symptoms (PA)

Hair loss and a reduced sex drive are among a wider set of long Covid symptoms than previously thought, new research suggests.

The University of Birmingham study found that while the most common symptoms include loss of smell, shortness of breath and chest pain, others include amnesia, an inability to perform familiar movements or commands, and hallucinations.

Patterns of symptoms tended to be grouped into respiratory symptoms, mental health and cognitive problems, and then a broader range of symptoms.

As well as spotting a wider set of symptoms, researchers also identified key groups and behaviour that put people at increased risk of developing long Covid.

The study suggests females, younger people, and those belonging to a black, mixed or other ethnic group are at greater risk of developing long Covid.

Additionally, people from poorer backgrounds, smokers, people who are overweight or obese, as well as the presence of a wide range of health conditions were associated with reporting persistent symptoms.

Senior author Dr Shamil Haroon said: “This research validates what patients have been telling clinicians and policy makers throughout the pandemic - that the symptoms of long Covid are extremely broad and cannot be fully accounted for by other factors such as lifestyle risk factors or chronic health conditions.

“The symptoms we identified should help clinicians and clinical guideline developers to improve the assessment of patients with long-term effects from Covid-19, and to subsequently consider how this symptom burden can be best managed.”

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