Source: CDC

By Erin McNemar, MPA

November 30, 2021 - To improve population health efforts, the Icahn Scholl of Medicine at Mount Sinai will serve as the lead site of enrollment for two cohort studies examining the long-term effects of COVID-19. The studies will contribute to a national health consortium study led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery (RECOVER) Initiative is set to study the long-term effects of the illness, which are known as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection or “long COVID.” As part of the RECOVER Initiative, Mount Sinai will operate as a hub site for one of the over 30 research teams across the United States.

NIH awarded almost $470 million to a national study population to support COVID-19 research. According to the hospital, Mount Sinai is projected to receive an estimated $22 million for four years as a hub site for the two cohorts.

Dig Deeper

Working collectively, the studies from various institutes could provide data insights regarding the incidence and prevalence of long COVID, the range of symptoms, underlying causes, risk factors, outcomes, possible treatments, and prevention strategies.

With an adult cohort, Mount Sinai researchers will identify, evaluate, and characterize the pace and extent of recovery after severe COVID-19 infection, gaining insights into clinical care and the potential risk factors that could cause severe cases.

Additionally, the study will also examine biological differences and social determinants of health, such as racial and ethnic disparities in risks and outcomes, that could contribute to long-term effects and symptoms.

“Understanding the long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 on human health is one of the great scientific challenges of our time,”  lead Principal Investigator of the adult cohort and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Neuroscience, and Neurosurgery at Icahn Mount Sinai, Alexander W. Charney, MD, PhD, said in a press release.

Recruitment for the adult cohort will build on the work from the Mount Sinai Health System Post-COVID-19 Registry, which analyzes the long-term outcomes of COVID-19 patients.

“What we have learned from recruiting almost 1,500 patients into our registry will be key for ensuring the success of the RECOVER Initiative at Mount Sinai,” said co-principal investigator Juan Wisnivesky, MD, DrPH. “The combined information from the Mount Sinai Registry and the RECOVER study will provide a comprehensive characterization of the long-term effects of COVID-19.”

The RECOVER Initiative was launched earlier this year to investigate why some people develop long COVID or returning symptoms after infection. The most common symptoms included pain, headaches, fatigue, “brain fog,” shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, fever, chronic cough, and sleep problems.

The NIH awards support both new studies of COVID-19 survivors and existing studies. The overall RECOVER Cohort will feature data from participants in new and existing cohorts, Mount Sinai will begin enrollment of study participants for the adult cohort in December.