Symptoms and quality of life in Finnish COVID-19 survivors – women more symptomatic after six months

Anna Lindahl, Miia Aro, Jere Reijula, Mika Juhani Mäkelä, Jukka Ollgren, Mervi Puolanne, Asko Järvinen, Tuula Vasankari

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattningPeer review


Background: The long-term effects of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) on quality of life or the duration of symptoms are not fully known.Aims and objectives: To evaluate the quality of life and the self-reported symptoms six months after the COVID-19 infection.Methods: Patients hospitalised for a laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in Helsinki during spring and summer 2020 were recruited (n=101; F 47, M 54). A survey of symptoms and a RAND-36 quality of life questionnaire were filled six months after hospital discharge.Results: Women had a shorter hospital admission (p=0.048, median 10 days women; 14 days men) and needed less supplementary oxygen (p=0.043, median peak flow of O2 4 L/min in women; 10 in men). Participants reported many symptoms, women more than men: 88% reported tiredness (93% in women and 85 % in men), 79 % fatigue (84% vs. 75%), 76% sleeping problems (89% vs. 65%), 70% dyspnoea (79% vs. 62%), and 61% cough (70% vs. 54%). Women reported a lower quality of life in all eight dimensions, with a statistically significant difference in seven dimensions (p<0.001-0.015). In further analysis, explanatory variables for the lower quality of life were age, sex, BMI, sleep apnoea, and the duration of mechanical ventilation. Moreover, 11% of the patients working full-time before COVID-19, had not returned to work.Conclusion: The majority of the patients experienced symptoms six months after hospital discharge. Women had more symptoms and a lower quality of life compared to men, despite having a less severe initial infection. These findings call for active rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients and suggest that women could be more symptomatic for a longer period of time.FootnotesCite this article as: European Respiratory Journal 2021; 58: Suppl. 65, PA1174.This abstract was presented at the 2021 ERS International Congress, in session “Prediction of exacerbations in patients with COPD”.This is an ERS International Congress abstract. No full-text version is available. Further material to accompany this abstract may be available at (ERS member access only).
StatusPublicerad - 5 sep. 2021
MoE-publikationstypEj behörig
EvenemangEuropean-Respiratory-Society (ERS) International Congress 2021 -
Varaktighet: 5 sep. 20218 sep. 2021


KonferensEuropean-Respiratory-Society (ERS) International Congress 2021


  • 3121 Allmänmedicin, inre medicin och annan klinisk medicin

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