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Determinants of the onset and prognosis of the post-COVID-19 condition: a 2-year prospective observational cohort study.

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Background: At least 5-10% of subjects surviving COVID-19 develop the post-COVID-19 condition (PCC) or "Long COVID". The clinical presentation of PCC is heterogeneous, its pathogenesis is being deciphered, and objective, validated biomarkers are lacking. It is unknown if PCC is a single entity or a heterogeneous syndrome with overlapping pathophysiological basis. The large US RECOVER study identified four clusters of subjects with PCC according to their presenting symptoms. However, the long-term clinical implications of PCC remain unknown.

Methods: We conducted a 2-year prospective cohort study of subjects surviving COVID-19, including individuals fulfilling the WHO PCC definition and subjects with full clinical recovery. We systematically collected post-COVID-19 symptoms using prespecified questionnaires and performed additional diagnostic imaging tests when needed. Factors associated with PCC were identified and modelled using logistic regression. Unsupervised clustering analysis was used to group subjects with PCC according to their presenting symptoms. Factors associated with PCC recovery were modelled using a direct acyclic graph approach.

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