Long COVID Has 4 Subtypes, New Research Finds

Long COVID Has 4 Subtypes, New Research Finds

You may already be familiar with the concept of long COVID, which is also known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC). It’s a phenomenon in which individuals continue to experience symptoms of COVID-19 long after the initial infection has resolved. These symptoms can be both physical and psychological and can range from mild to severe.

The exact cause of long COVID is not yet fully understood, but it is thought to be related to the body’s immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Research suggests that the immune system’s inflammatory response to the virus may continue even after the virus has been cleared from the body, leading to ongoing symptoms.

Heart and respiratory complications represent the most common long COVID subtype

According to Prevention, new research indicates that there are 4 subtypes of long COVID, and the most common one is represented by heart and respiratory complications. 

On the other hand, long COVID is not too uncommon. The new study claims that one in five adults under the age of 65 years old experience some level of the condition.

The new study in question employed machine learning techniques to identify symptom groups among 35,000 patients who have long-COVID. These patients all had symptoms that persisted at least 30-180 days after their original COVID-19 diagnosis. An algorithm that took into account 137 distinct symptoms was used to classify the patients into four principal groups.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we have a list of symptoms based on categories. Those include the following:

General symptoms:

  • Symptoms that get worse after a physical or mental effort
  • Fever
  • Fatigue that interferes with daily life

Respiratory and heart symptoms:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
    Neurological symptoms:
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Brain fog
  • Headache

Digestive symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

The new study was published in Nature Medicine


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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