London: Scientists have found that organ damage persisted in 59 per cent of long Covid patients a year after initial symptoms, even in those not severely affected when first diagnosed with the virus, according to a new study.

The study also found that 29 per cent of patients with long COVID had multi-organ impairment, with persistent symptoms and reduced function at six and twelve months, it said.

The comprehensive study of organ impairment in long COVID patients over 12 months focused on patients reporting extreme breathlessness, cognitive dysfunction and poor health-related quality of life, it said.

According to the study, of the 536 patients who were studied, 13 per cent were hospitalised when first diagnosed with COVID-19, with 32 per cent of people taking part in the study being healthcare workers.

The study found that of the 536 patients, 331, or 62 per cent, were identified with organ impairment six months after their initial diagnosis. It is published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

These patients were followed up six months later with a 40-minute multi-organ MRI scan (Perspectum’s CoverScan), analysed in Oxford, the study said.

“Symptoms were common at six and twelve months and associated with female gender, younger age and single organ impairment,” said Amitava Banerjee, Professor of Clinical Data Science at the UCL Institute of Health Informatics, UK.

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