Sunday, November 14, 2021

Long Covid associated with beliefs, not antibodies

Mind over matter? Long Covid study sparks controversy | MedicalXpress

November 12, 2021 - "A large-scale French study suggesting symptoms of so-called long COVID may be more due to psychological factors than to infection with the virus has sparked debate among patients and scientists. The report that appeared earlier this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association focused on nearly 27,000 participants across France who took antibody tests to screen for COVID infection. After the subjects had received the antibody test results, researchers asked them whether they believed they had been infected with COVID and to report on symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness or impaired attention.

"The vast majority of respondents — over 25,000 people — tested negative for COVID antibodies and believed they had never been sick. Of the some 1,000 who tested positive, about 450 believed they had contracted the virus. Finally, about 460 people who received negative antibody tests said they nonetheless believed they had had COVID.

"Researchers found that people who believed they had had COVID, whether or not they had had a positive test, were more likely to report long-term symptoms. A positive antibody test, meanwhile, was only consistently associated with one long-term symptom: loss of smell. They concluded that persistent physical symptoms 'may be associated more with the belief in having been infected with SARS-CoV-2 than with having laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection'.

"The study coordinated by Cedric Lemogne, head of psychiatry at the Hotel-Dieu hospital in Paris, suggested the findings were important in order to allow research into other causes of the symptoms. 'A medical evaluation of these patients may be needed to prevent symptoms due to another disease being erroneously attributed to "long COVID",' it said."

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Long Covid doesn't exist, volume one zillion | Substack - Alex Berenson:

November 10, 2021 - "The Journal of the American Medical Association has another stunning paper out ... on post-Covid symptoms.... Researchers asked people to report whether they had had Covid and whether they had any of 18 lasting symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, or cough. They found that self-reported Covid was very strongly associated with nearly every symptom. 

"But the scientists ... also ... compared self-reported symptoms in people with antibodies — that is, people who had actually been infected and recovered from Covid — to the general population. And they found no difference in almost any symptom. Covid was not a risk factor for chest pain, or breathing difficulties, or trouble focusing, or stomach pain, or any of the many, many other complaints that long Covid 'patients' and interest groups say are real. There was one interesting exception; people with Covid antibodies did have a much higher rate of anosmia, losing one’s sense of smell. Because anosmia is a known and lasting side effect, it serves as a useful control of sorts.

"The researchers also found that almost 60 percent of the people with antibodies HAD NO IDEA THEY HAD EVEN HAD COVID AT ALL. Meanwhile ... more than half the people who said they had had Covid had no antibodies.... The study strongly suggests that many people are using previous Covid diagnoses — either real or imagined — to help explain away common physical symptoms such as joint pain or cough. It also suggests that actually being infected [with] Covid is far less risky than thinking you have been infected with Covid for many people..... 

"This study should slow, if not stop, the rush to medicalize long Covid. It is yet more proof that the illness is a group of squishy (if painful and difficult) symptoms looking for a name - and more importantly a billing code. But so many patients and physicians and public health experts are now invested (in some cases literally) in making long Covid real that the gravy train will likely roll on."

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