In a recently published study, Scientific Reports Researchers in Brazil evaluated the relationship between the post-acute sequelae of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (PASC) and physical inactivity.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have wreaked havoc worldwide, resulting in critical illness outcomes and hospitalizations. Studies have highlighted the high incidence of PASC symptoms among survivors of COVID-19, which is straining health systems worldwide. This condition is called ‘long-term COVID’ and is defined as the illness experienced by individuals with a suspected or confirmed history of COVID-19. Researchers have observed that physical inactivity is an independent risk factor associated with impaired functional status, depression and anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders, and all-cause mortality. Therefore, it is important to identify PASC-related risk factors that COVID-19 survivors may be exposed to due to physical inactivity.
Studies: Post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 are associated with physical inactivity in a cohort of COVID-19 survivors. Image Credit: Arc of Light / Shutterstock
about the study
In the current study, the researchers examined whether the PASC of COVID-19 survivors was associated with physical inactivity. The study is part of a prospective and multidisciplinary cohort study called the Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da USP (HCFMUSP) PASC Initiative, which includes survivors of COVID-19. All eligible patients were 18 years of age or older and were hospitalized for at least 24 hours. These patients were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection between March 2020 and August 2020 and were invited for a follow-up visit between October 2020 and April 2021.
Follow-up evaluation was performed for these patients 6 to 11 months after hospitalization. Participants were interviewed in a semi-structured manner about their sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle habits, professional background, and self-assessed medical history. A series of objective physical assessments and laboratory tests were also performed on these patients. Physical activity was also assessed during the follow-up visit via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ), which determined the patient’s physical activity in the previous seven days. The team also created an adjusted model that controlled for confounding factors, gender, ICU admission, required invasive mechanical ventilation, length of hospital stay, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
The study cohort included 749 eligible patients who participated in the follow-up evaluation. The cohort consisted of 53% male 56±13 years old and 9% lower, 50% middle, and 40% higher socioeconomic class patients. At the time of baseline evaluation, approximately 37% of patients reported smoking. In addition, the prevalence of current hypertension was 58%, type 2 diabetes was 35%, and obesity was 17%. In addition, 55% and 37% of patients required intensive care and invasive mechanical ventilation. Only 40% of the study cohort satisfied physical activity recommendations.
Of the patients who exhibited physical inactivity, 51% reported no symptoms, 62% at least one, 58% between one and four, and 71% reported five or more PASC-related symptoms. In addition, 77% of physically inactive patients had shortness of breath, 69% had fatigue, 66% had severe joint/muscle pain, 66% had insomnia, 65% had post-traumatic stress disorder, and 65% had memory problems. disorders, 65% had anxiety. , 62% reported that they had depression, 65% lost their sense of taste, and 63% reported that they lost their sense of smell.
Multivariate adjusted logistic regression analyzes (odds ratio [(95% CI]) Relationship between persistent symptoms of COVID-19 (severe muscle/joint pain, fatigue, post-traumatic stress, insomnia, shortness of breath, memory disorders, depression, anxiety, loss of taste and smell) and physical inactivity (<150) min/ week of moderate to vigorous activity). *uncorrected P < 0.05; # adjusted P < 0.005 (Bonferroni correction).
The adjusted model revealed that patients with one or more persistent symptoms were more likely to be physically inactive than those without any persistent symptoms. Additionally, patients with five or more persistent symptoms were more likely to be physically inactive than those without persistent symptoms. The adjusted models also emphasized that severe joint/muscle pain, fatigue, post-traumatic stress, insomnia and shortness of breath were associated with a higher probability of physical inactivity. Interestingly, depression, memory impairments, anxiety, and loss of smell and taste were not significantly associated with physical activity.
The study findings showed that PASC was significantly associated with physical inactivity. The new data presented here warrant further research to confirm which organ system pathologies related to COVID-19 may contribute to the incidence of physical inactivity and to facilitate the early identification of recovering patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 who may benefit from treatments that treat immobility. . The researchers believe that, given the potential impact of physical inactivity on overall death and disease, the health system, medical professionals and policy makers should focus on treating the physical inactivity associated with COVID-19.
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