Covid can cause erectile dysfunction, reports

Covid can cause erectile dysfunction, reports
Covid-19 virus strand. [Photo: Courtesy]

Prolonged suffering of Covid-19 may cause erectile dysfunction in men, a new study has found.

Erectile dysfunction and hair loss have now joined the growing list of long Covid symptoms, according to new research.

Other common Covid symptoms include loss of smell, shortness of breath and chest pain, amnesia, hallucinations, an inability to perform familiar movements or commands, bowel incontinence and limb swelling.

Patterns of symptoms are grouped in three major categories – respiratory, mental health and cognitive problems, and then a broader range of symptoms.

As well as spotting a wider set of symptoms, researchers also identified key groups and behaviour that put people at increased risk of developing long Covid.

A record  two million people in the UK are estimated to be suffering from long Covid, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), reported the Independent.

Around 3.1 per cent of the British population are suffering symptoms that persist for more than four weeks after catching Covid. Some 376,000 people who first caught Covid around the start of the pandemic have reported symptoms lasting at least two years.

The study suggests that females, younger people, blacks, mixed-race or other ethnic group are at greater risk of developing long Covid.

Additionally, those from a poorer background, smokers, and people who are overweight or obese, as well as those with any of a wide range of health conditions, were more likely to report persistent symptoms.

Senior author Dr Shamil Haroon is an associate clinical professor in public health at the University of Birmingham.

He said: “This research validates what patients have been telling clinicians and policymakers throughout the pandemic – that the symptoms of long Covid are extremely broad and cannot be fully accounted for by other factors, such as lifestyle risk factors or chronic health conditions.

“The symptoms we identified should help clinicians and clinical guideline developers to improve the assessment of patients with long-term effects from Covid-19, and to subsequently consider how this symptom burden can be best managed.”

People who tested positive for the virus reported 62 symptoms much more frequently 12 weeks after initial infection than those who had not contracted the virus, the study found.

The NHS list of common Covid symptoms includes fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, and “brain fog”.

Researchers from the University of Birmingham analysed the anonymised electronic health records of 2.4 million people in the UK alongside a team of clinicians and researchers across England.

The data obtained between January 2020 and April 2021 comprised the records of 486,149 people with prior infection, and 1.9 million people with no indication of coronavirus infection after matching for other clinical diagnoses.

This story was first published on The Independent