A cross-sectional study of symptom prevalence, frequency, severity, and impact of long-COVID in Scotland: part I

Marie Mclaughlin*, Luke Cerexhe, Eilidh MacDonald, Joanne Ingram, Nilihan E.M. Sanal-Hayes, Rachel Meach, David Carless, Nicholas Sculthorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Commonly reported symptoms of long COVID may have different patterns of prevalence and presentation across different countries. While some limited data have been reported for the United Kingdom, national specificity for Scotland is less clear. We present a cross-sectional survey to examine the symptom prevalence, frequency, and severity of long COVID for people living with the condition in Scotland.

METHODS: An online survey was created in the English language and was available between April 21, 2022 and August 5, 2022. Participants were included if they were ≥18 years old, living in Scotland, and had self-diagnosed or confirmed long COVID; and excluded if they were hospitalized during their initial infection. Within this article we quantify symptom prevalence, frequency, severity, and duration.

RESULTS: Participants (n = 253) reported the most prevalent long-COVID symptoms to be post-exertional malaise (95%), fatigue/tiredness (85%), and cognitive impairment (68%). Fatigue/tiredness, problems with activities of daily living (ADL), and general pain were most frequently occurring, while sleep diffiiculties, problems with ADL, and nausea were the most severe. Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation associated with symptom number, severity, and frequency, whereas vaccine status, age, sex, and smoking status had limited or no association.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings outline the challenges faced for those living with long COVID and highlight the need for longitudinal research to ascertain a better understanding of the condition and its longerterm societal impact.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Early online date20 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2023


  • long COVID
  • PAIS
  • PASC
  • survey
  • symptoms


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