Patients with long-term COVID-19 syndrome still have higher blood clotting rates, which may explain their ongoing symptoms, such as decreased physical fitness and fatigue, according to a study.
The symptoms of long-term COVID-19 syndrome, including shortness of breath, fatigue and reduced exercise tolerance, can persist for weeks to months after the initial infection has cleared and are estimated to affect millions of people worldwide.
The researchers from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Ireland examined 50 patients with symptoms of long-term COVID syndrome to better understand whether there is abnormal blood clotting.
Their study, published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, found that clotting markers were significantly elevated in the blood of patients with long-term COVID-19 syndrome compared to healthy controls.
These coagulation markers were higher in patients requiring hospitalization with their initial COVID-19 infection.
However, the researchers also found that even those who were able to manage their disease at home still had persistently high clotting markers.
They noted that higher clotting was directly linked to other symptoms of long-term COVID-19 syndrome, such as decreased physical fitness and fatigue.
Although the markers of inflammation had all returned to normal levels, there was still an increased clotting potential in long-term COVID patients.
“Since coagulation markers were elevated while inflammatory markers were back to normal, our results suggest that the coagulation system may be involved in the cause of long-term COVID syndrome,” said Helen Fogarty, the study’s lead author, and a PhD student at RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences.
Professor James O’Donnell, director of the Irish Center for Vascular Biology, RCSI noted that understanding the cause of a disease is the first step to developing effective treatments.
“Millions of people are already dealing with the symptoms of long-term COVID syndrome, and more people will develop long-term COVID as the infections continue to occur among unvaccinated,” O’Donnell said.
“It is imperative that we continue to study this condition and develop effective treatments,” he added.
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)