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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Risk factors for fatigue and impaired function eight months after hospital admission with COVID-19

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INTRODUCTION: We aimed to evaluate post-COVID-19 fatigue, change in functional capacity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) eight months after discharge from hospital due to COVID-19.

METHODS: A total of 83 patients (35 women) admitted to the Copenhagen University Hospital - North Zealand Hospital, Denmark, for COVID-19 during the period from March to June 2020 were evaluated eight months after discharge using validated questionnaires quantifying fatigue, HRQoL and post-COVID-19 functional status. Follow-up data were correlated with measures of pre-COVID-19 status (anthropometrics, comorbidities) and measures of severity of the acute infection.

RESULTS: A total of 22 (65%) women and 12 (26%) men reported excessive fatigue. In all, 20 women (67%) and 17 men (37%) reported decreased physical function. Female sex was associated with fatigue. Loss of physical function was associated with pre-COVID-19 presence of heart disease and absence of lung disease. Severity of the acute COVID-19 infection was not associated with fatigue or change in functional status. Fatigue and functional status were correlated with both generic HRQoL and lung disease-specific HRQoL.

CONCLUSIONS: Female sex was associated with a higher risk of fatigue eight months after hospitalisation with COVID-19 infection. Regarding loss of functional capacity after COVID-19, we found an apparently protective effect of pre-COVID-19 lung disease. Our findings underscore the urgent need for further research and the importance of evaluating those recovering from COVID-19 for symptoms of excessive fatigue and change in functional capacity irrespective of the severity of the initial infection.

FUNDING: none.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: not relevant.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA08210633
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Volume69
Issue number4
ISSN1603-9629
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

    Research areas

  • COVID-19/complications, Fatigue/diagnosis, Female, Hospitalization, Hospitals, Humans, Male, Quality of Life, Risk Factors

ID: 75864648