Background: Autonomic dysfunction is a known complication of post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC)/long COVID, however prevalence and severity are unknown.Objective: To assess the frequency, severity, and risk factors of autonomic dysfunction in PASC, and to determine whether severity of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with severity of autonomic dysfunction.Design: Cross-sectional online survey of adults with PASC recruited through long COVID support groups between October 2020 and August 2021.Participants: 2,413 adults ages 18-64 years with PASC including patients who had a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 (test-confirmed) and participants who were diagnosed with COVID-19 based on clinical symptoms alone.Main measures: The main outcome measure was the Composite Autonomic Symptom 31 (COMPASS-31) total score, used to assess global autonomic dysfunction. Test-confirmed hospitalized vs. test-confirmed non-hospitalized participants were compared to determine if the severity of acute SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with the severity autonomic dysfunction.Key results: Sixty-six percent of PASC patients had a COMPASS-31 score >20, suggestive of moderate to severe autonomic dysfunction. COMPASS-31 scores did not differ between test-confirmed hospitalized and test-confirmed non-hospitalized participants [28.95 (15.62, 46.60) vs. 26.4 (13.75, 42.10); p = 0.06].Conclusions: Evidence of moderate to severe autonomic dysfunction was seen in 66% of PASC patients in our study, independent of hospitalization status, suggesting that autonomic dysfunction is highly prevalent in the PASC population and independent of the severity of acute COVID-19 illness.
View details for DOI 10.3389/fneur.2022.1012668
View details for PubMedID 36353127