To determine the prevalence of persistent symptoms after having coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a cohort in Suriname, and assess the factors associated with long COVID.
A sample of adults 18 years and older who were registered 3–4 months previously in a national database because of a positive COVID-19 test were selected. They were interviewed about socioeconomic characteristics, pre-COVID-19 health status and lifestyle, and symptoms during and after COVID-19. A subset of participants underwent a physical examination to determine body mass index, waist circumference, cardiovascular parameters, lung function, and functionality.
A total of 106 participants (mean age 49 (standard deviation 15) years; 62.3% female) were interviewed, of whom 32 were physically examined. The greatest proportion of participants was of Hindustani descent (22.6%). Overall, 37.7% of participants were physically inactive, 26.4% had hypertension or diabetes mellitus, and 13.2% had been previously diagnosed with heart disease. Most participants (56.6%) had experienced mild COVID-19 and 14.2% had experienced severe COVID-19. A large proportion (39.6%) had experienced at least one persistent symptom after recovery from acute COVID-19 and more women were affected (47.0% of women versus 27.5% of men). Fatigue and alopecia were the most common symptoms, followed by dyspnea and sleep disturbance. Differences were observed between ethnic groups. Based on physical examination, 45.0% of the subset was obese and 67.7% had very high waist-circumference.
About 40% of the cohort had at least one persistent symptom 3–4 months after having had COVID-19, with differences observed by sex and ethnic group.