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      Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is common in post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC): Results from a post-COVID-19 multidisciplinary clinic

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          Summary

          Background

          The global prevalence of PASC is estimated to be present in 0·43 and based on the WHO estimation of 470 million worldwide COVID-19 infections, corresponds to around 200 million people experiencing long COVID symptoms. Despite this, its clinical features are not well defined.

          Methods

          We collected retrospective data from 140 patients with PASC in a post-COVID-19 clinic on demographics, risk factors, illness severity (graded as one-mild to five-severe), functional status, and 29 symptoms and principal component symptoms cluster analysis. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2015 criteria were used to determine the ME/CFS phenotype.

          Findings

          The median age was 47 years, 59·0% were female; 49·3% White, 17·2% Hispanic, 14·9% Asian, and 6·7% Black. Only 12·7% required hospitalization. Seventy-two (53·5%) patients had no known comorbid conditions. Forty-five (33·9%) were significantly debilitated. The median duration of symptoms was 285·5 days, and the number of symptoms was 12. The most common symptoms were fatigue (86·5%), post-exertional malaise (82·8%), brain fog (81·2%), unrefreshing sleep (76·7%), and lethargy (74·6%). Forty-three percent fit the criteria for ME/CFS.

          Interpretations

          Most PASC patients evaluated at our clinic had no comorbid condition and were not hospitalized for acute COVID-19. One-third of patients experienced a severe decline in their functional status. About 43% had the ME/CFS subtype.

          Funding

          The study did not received funding.

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          Author and article information

          Contributors
          Journal
          medRxiv
          August 04 2022
          Article
          10.1101/2022.08.03.22278363
          19f4a6d9-bcdb-4447-b794-23e8a613b09b
          © 2022
          History

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