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1.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0267392, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021694

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: There have been more than 425 million COVID-19 infections worldwide. Post-COVID illness has become a common, disabling complication of this infection. Therefore, it presents a significant challenge to global public health and economic activity. METHODS: Comprehensive clinical assessment (symptoms, WHO performance status, cognitive testing, CPET, lung function, high-resolution CT chest, CT pulmonary angiogram and cardiac MRI) of previously well, working-age adults in full-time employment was conducted to identify physical and neurocognitive deficits in those with severe or prolonged COVID-19 illness. RESULTS: 205 consecutive patients, age 39 (IQR30.0-46.7) years, 84% male, were assessed 24 (IQR17.1-34.0) weeks after acute illness. 69% reported ≥3 ongoing symptoms. Shortness of breath (61%), fatigue (54%) and cognitive problems (47%) were the most frequent symptoms, 17% met criteria for anxiety and 24% depression. 67% remained below pre-COVID performance status at 24 weeks. One third of lung function tests were abnormal, (reduced lung volume and transfer factor, and obstructive spirometry). HRCT lung was clinically indicated in <50% of patients, with COVID-associated pathology found in 25% of these. In all but three HRCTs, changes were graded 'mild'. There was an extremely low incidence of pulmonary thromboembolic disease or significant cardiac pathology. A specific, focal cognitive deficit was identified in those with ongoing symptoms of fatigue, poor concentration, poor memory, low mood, and anxiety. This was notably more common in patients managed in the community during their acute illness. CONCLUSION: Despite low rates of residual cardiopulmonary pathology, in this cohort, with low rates of premorbid illness, there is a high burden of symptoms and failure to regain pre-COVID performance 6-months after acute illness. Cognitive assessment identified a specific deficit of the same magnitude as intoxication at the UK drink driving limit or the deterioration expected with 10 years ageing, which appears to contribute significantly to the symptomatology of long-COVID.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Acute Disease , Adult , COVID-19/complications , Fatigue/etiology , Female , Humans , Lung , Male
2.
J Appl Physiol (1985) ; 132(6): 1525-1535, 2022 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861687

ABSTRACT

A failure to fully recover following coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may have a profound impact on high-functioning populations ranging from frontline emergency services to professional or amateur/recreational athletes. The aim of the study is to describe the medium-term cardiopulmonary exercise profiles of individuals with "persistent symptoms" and individuals who feel "recovered" after hospitalization or mild-moderate community infection following COVID-19 to an age, sex, and job-role matched control group. A total of 113 participants underwent cardiopulmonary functional tests at a mean of 159 ± 7 days (∼5 mo) following acute illness; 27 hospitalized with persistent symptoms (hospitalized-symptomatic), 8 hospitalized and now recovered (hospitalized-recovered); 34 community managed with persistent symptoms (community-symptomatic); 18 community managed and now recovered (community-recovered); and 26 controls. Hospitalized groups had the least favorable body composition (body mass, body mass index, and waist circumference) compared with controls. Hospitalized-symptomatic and community-symptomatic individuals had a lower oxygen uptake (V̇o2) at peak exercise (hospitalized-symptomatic, 29.9 ± 5.0 mL/kg/min; community-symptomatic, 34.4 ± 7.2 mL/kg/min; vs. control 43.9 ± 3.1 mL/kg/min, both P < 0.001). Hospitalized-symptomatic individuals had a steeper V̇e/V̇co2 slope (lower ventilatory efficiency) (30.5 ± 5.3 vs. 25.5 ± 2.6, P = 0.003) versus. controls. Hospitalized-recovered had a significantly lower oxygen uptake at peak (32.6 ± 6.6 mL/kg/min vs. 43.9 ± 13.1 mL/kg/min, P = 0.015) compared with controls. No significant differences were reported between community-recovered individuals and controls in any cardiopulmonary parameter. In conclusion, medium-term findings suggest that community-recovered individuals did not differ in cardiopulmonary fitness from physically active healthy controls. This suggests their readiness to return to higher levels of physical activity. However, the hospitalized-recovered group and both groups with persistent symptoms had enduring functional limitations, warranting further monitoring, rehabilitation, and recovery.NEW & NOTEWORTHY At 5 mo postinfection, community-treated individuals who feel recovered have comparable cardiopulmonary exercise profiles to the physically trained and active controls, suggesting a readiness to return to higher intensity/volumes of exercise. However, both symptomatic groups and the hospital-recovered group have persistent functional limitations when compared with active controls, supporting the requirement for ongoing monitoring, rehabilitation, and recovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Failure , Adult , Exercise Test , Exercise Tolerance , Humans , Oxygen , Oxygen Consumption
3.
Heart Rhythm ; 19(4): 613-620, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560871

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Individuals who contract coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can suffer with persistent and debilitating symptoms long after the initial acute illness. Heart rate (HR) profiles determined during cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) and delivered as part of a post-COVID recovery service may provide insight into the presence and impact of dysautonomia on functional ability. OBJECTIVE: Using an active, working-age, post-COVID-19 population, the purpose of this study was to (1) determine and characterize any association between subjective symptoms and dysautonomia; and (2) identify objective exercise capacity differences between patients classified "with" and those "without" dysautonomia. METHODS: Patients referred to a post-COVID-19 service underwent comprehensive clinical assessment, including self-reported symptoms, CPET, and secondary care investigations when indicated. Resting HR >75 bpm, HR increase with exercise <89 bpm, and HR recovery <25 bpm 1 minute after exercise were used to define dysautonomia. Anonymized data were analyzed and associations with symptoms, and CPET outcomes were determined. RESULTS: Fifty-one of the 205 patients (25%) reviewed as part of this service evaluation had dysautonomia. There were no associations between symptoms or perceived functional limitation and dysautonomia (P >.05). Patients with dysautonomia demonstrated objective functional limitations with significantly reduced work rate (219 ± 37 W vs 253 ± 52 W; P <.001) and peak oxygen consumption (V̇o2: 30.6 ± 5.5 mL/kg/min vs 35.8 ± 7.6 mL/kg/min; P <.001); and a steeper (less efficient) V̇e/V̇co2 slope (29.9 ± 4.9 vs 27.7 ± 4.7; P = .005). CONCLUSION: Dysautonomia is associated with objective functional limitations but is not associated with subjective symptoms or limitation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heart Failure , Primary Dysautonomias , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Exercise , Exercise Test , Humans , Oxygen Consumption/physiology , Primary Dysautonomias/diagnosis , Primary Dysautonomias/etiology
4.
J Therm Biol ; 93: 102705, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739933

ABSTRACT

Heat adaption through acclimatisation or acclimation improves cardiovascular stability by maintaining cardiac output due to compensatory increases in stroke volume. The main aim of this study was to assess whether 2D transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) could be used to confirm differences in resting echocardiographic parameters, before and after active heat acclimation (HA). Thirteen male endurance trained cyclists underwent a resting blinded TTE before and after randomisation to either 5 consecutive daily exertional heat exposures of controlled hyperthermia at 32°C with 70% relative humidity (RH) (HOT) or 5-days of exercise in temperate (21°C with 36% RH) environmental conditions (TEMP). Measures of HA included heart rate, gastrointestinal temperature, skin temperature, sweat loss, total non-urinary fluid loss (TNUFL), plasma volume and participant's ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Following HA, the HOT group demonstrated increased sweat loss (p = 0.01) and TNUFL (p = 0.01) in comparison to the TEMP group with a significantly decreased RPE (p = 0.01). On TTE, post exposure, there was a significant comparative increase in the HOT group in left ventricular end diastolic volume (p = 0.029), SV (p = 0.009), left atrial volume (p = 0.005), inferior vena cava diameter (p = 0.041), and a significant difference in mean peak diastolic mitral annular velocity (e') (p = 0.044). Cardiovascular adaptations to HA appear to be predominantly mediated by improvements in increased preload and ventricular compliance. TTE is a useful tool to demonstrate and quantify cardiac HA.


Subject(s)
Exercise , Heart/physiology , Sweating , Thermotolerance , Adult , Echocardiography , Heart/diagnostic imaging , Heart Rate , Humans , Male , Plasma Volume , Random Allocation , Vasodilation
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