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Two New Symptoms Added To List Of Long Covid Side Effects

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Two New Symptoms Added To List Of Long Covid Side Effects

Long Covid is an unfortunate reality of life for an estimated two million people in the UK, and now two new symptoms have been added to the symptom list.

The symptoms were discovered by scientists from the University of Birmingham, who studied the health of 2.4 million Brits, 486,000 of whom had contracted Covid-19.

The study, which was published in Nature Medicine, found that those suffering from long Covid experienced more than just the classic symptoms of the respiratory disease.

Instead, they experienced an 'extremely broad' variety of symptoms including a loss of libido and potentially their hair.

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A woman worried about hair loss. Credit: Alamy / Ian Allenden
A woman worried about hair loss. Credit: Alamy / Ian Allenden

Dr Shamil Haroon, associate clinical professor in public health at the university, was a senior author in the study and he said its findings validate patient reports.

He said: "This research validates what patients have been telling clinicians and policy makers throughout the pandemic - that the symptoms of long Covid are extremely broad and cannot be fully accounted for by other factors such as lifestyle risk factors or chronic health conditions.

"The symptoms we identified should help clinicians and clinical guideline developers to improve the assessment of patients with long-term effects from Covid-19, and to subsequently consider how this symptom burden can be best managed."

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The NHS's symptoms list for long Covid does not currently include hair loss and a lack of libido.

However, it does include a range of symptoms like heart palpitations, insomnia, brain fog, rashes.

Those who suspect they have long Covid are advised to contact their GP.

A Covid-19 test. Credit: Alamy / heliography / Stockimo
A Covid-19 test. Credit: Alamy / heliography / Stockimo
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The study also found that certain people were more at risk of developing long Covid.

Namely, those who are overweight, smokers, and who are from a poorer socioeconomic background.

Women, young people and those from a minority ethnic background were also found to be at a greater risk.

Anuradhaa Subramanian, the lead author of the paper, said: "Our data analyses of risk factors are of particular interest because it helps us to consider what could be causing or contributing to long Covid.

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"Women are, for example, more likely to experience autoimmune diseases. Seeing the increased likelihood of women having long Covid in our study increases our interest in investigating whether autoimmunity or other causes may explain the increased risk in women.

"These observations will help to further narrow the focus on factors to investigate what may be causing these persistent symptoms after an infection, and how we can help patients who are experiencing them."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Health, Covid-19

Emma Guinness

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