Myalgia as a symptom at hospital admission by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection is associated with persistent musculoskeletal pain as long-term post-COVID sequelae: a case-control study

César Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, Jorge Rodríguez-Jiménez, Stella Fuensalida-Novo, María Palacios-Ceña, Víctor Gómez-Mayordomo, Lidiane L Florencio, Valentín Hernández-Barrera, Lars Arendt-Nielsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This study investigated the association between COVID-related myalgia experienced by patients at hospital admission and the presence of post-COVID symptoms. A case-control study including patients hospitalised due to COVID-19 between February 20 and May 31, 2020, was conducted. Patients reporting myalgia and patients without myalgia at hospital admission were scheduled for a telephone interview 7 months after hospital discharge. Hospitalisation and clinical data were collected from medical records. A list of post-COVID symptoms with attention to musculoskeletal pain was evaluated. Anxiety and depressive symptoms, and sleep quality were likewise assessed. From a total of 1200 hospitalised patients with COVID-19, 369 with and 369 without myalgia at hospital admission were assessed 7.2 months (SD 0.6) after hospital discharge. A greater proportion (P = 0.03) of patients with myalgia at hospital admission (20%) showed ≥3 post-COVID symptoms when compared with individuals without myalgia (13%). A higher proportion of patients presenting myalgia (odds Rratio 1.41, 95% confidence interval 1.04-1.90) exhibited musculoskeletal post-COVID pain when compared to those without myalgia. The prevalence of musculoskeletal post-COVID pain in the total sample was 38%. Fifty percent of individuals with preexisting musculoskeletal pain experienced a worsening of their symptoms after COVID-19. No differences in fatigue, dyspnoea, anxiety/depressive levels, or sleep quality were observed between myalgia and nonmyalgia groups. The presence of myalgia at hospital admission was associated with preexisting history of musculoskeletal pain (OR 1.62, 95% confidence interval 1.10-2.40). In conclusion, myalgia at the acute phase was associated with musculoskeletal pain as long-term post-COVID sequelae. In addition, half of the patients with preexisting pain conditions experienced a persistent exacerbation of their previous syndromes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPain
ISSN0304-3959
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Myalgia
  • COVID-19

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