Determinants of recovery from post-COVID-19 dyspnoea: analysis of UK prospective cohorts of hospitalised COVID-19 patients and community-based controls

PHOSP-COVID Study Collaborative Group, Bang Zheng, Giulia Vivaldi, Luke Daines, Olivia C Leavy, Matthew Richardson, Omer Elneima, Hamish J C McAuley, Aarti Shikotra, Amisha Singapuri, Marco Sereno, Ruth M Saunders, Victoria C Harris, Linzy Houchen-Wolloff, Neil J Greening, Paul E Peffer, John R. Hurst, Jeremy S Brown, Manu Shankar-Hari, Carlos EchevarriaAnthony De Soyza, Ewen M Harrison, Annemarie B Docherty, Nazir I Lone, Jennifer K Quint, James D Chalmers, Ling-Pei Ho, Alex Horsley, Michael P Marks, Krishna Poinasamy, Betty Raman, Liam G Heaney, Louise V Wain, Rachael A Evans, Christopher E Brightling, Adrian R. Martineau, Aziz Sheikh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background The risk factors for recovery from COVID-19 dyspnoea are poorly understood. We investigated determinants of recovery from dyspnoea in adults with COVID-19 and compared these to determinants of recovery from non-COVID-19 dyspnoea.

Methods We used data from two prospective cohort studies: PHOSP-COVID (patients hospitalised between March 2020 and April 2021 with COVID-19) and COVIDENCE UK (community cohort studied over the same time period). PHOSP-COVID data were collected during hospitalisation and at 5-month and 1-year follow-up visits. COVIDENCE UK data were obtained through baseline and monthly online questionnaires. Dyspnoea was measured in both cohorts with the Medical Research Council Dyspnoea Scale. We used multivariable logistic regression to identify determinants associated with a reduction in dyspnoea between 5-month and 1-year follow-up.

Findings We included 990 PHOSP-COVID and 3309 COVIDENCE UK participants. We observed higher odds of improvement between 5-month and 1-year among PHOSP-COVID participants who were younger (odds ratio 1.02 per year, 95% CI 1.01–1.03), male (1.54, 1.16–2.04), neither obese nor severely obese (1.82, 1.06–3.13 and 4.19, 2.14–8.19, respectively), had no pre-existing anxiety/depression (1.56, 1.09–2.22) or cardiovascular disease (1.33, 1.00–1.79), and shorter hospital admission (1.01 per day, 1.00–1.02). Similar associations were found in those recovering from non-COVID-19 dyspnoea, excluding age (and length of hospital admission).

Interpretation Factors associated with dyspnoea recovery at 1-year post-discharge among patients hospitalised with COVID-19 were similar to those among community controls without COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100635
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Early online date28 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • COVID-19
  • Cohort
  • Dyspnoea
  • Long COVID
  • Recovery


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