People hospitalized for COVID-19 are at increased risk of later readmission or death – Archyde

A large study conducted in England found that people who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 and survived for at least a week after discharge were more than twice as likely to die or be readmitted to hospital compared to the general population next months. Krishnan Bhaskaran and colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Oxford and clinical software provider TPP present these results in the open access journal PLOS medicine.

Previous research has shown that people with COVID-19 may be at greater risk of health problems for several months after their initial infection. However, the evidence on this topic remains limited.

To clarify the long-term health risks for people with COVID-19, Bhaskaran and colleagues focused on those who had been hospitalized for the disease. Researchers performed a statistical analysis of electronic health records from the OpenSAFELY database, evaluating data from nearly 25,000 patients discharged from hospitalization for COVID-19 in 2020, compared to more than 100,000 members of the general population.

The analysis showed that people who were hospitalized for COVID-19 and lived for at least a week after discharge had twice the overall risk of being hospitalized again or dying in the following months compared to the general population. They were also at almost five times the risk of death from any cause.

To account for risks after being hospitalized for an infectious disease, the researchers also considered data from more than 15,000 people hospitalized for influenza between 2017 and 2019. Statistical analysis revealed that overall, COVID-19 patients had a slightly lower combined risk of hospitalization or death compared to influenza patients. However, people hospitalized for COVID-19 had a higher risk of death from any cause than influenza patients, a higher risk of being readmitted to hospital or dying as a result of their initial infection, and a higher risk of dying from dementia.

Overall, these results are consistent with other research showing an increased risk of later health problems for people with COVID-19. The authors suggest that these risks could be mitigated by taking steps to improve post-discharge surveillance of COVID-19 patients and raise awareness of possible complications.

Our results suggest that people who have had a severe case of COVID-19 that required hospitalization are at significantly increased risk of developing further health problems in the months following their hospitalization; It is important that patients and their doctors are aware of this so that any problems that arise can be treated as early as possible. Our results also underscore the importance of vaccination, which is the best tool we have to prevent severe COVID-19 disease in the first place.”

Krishnan Bhaskaran, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine


Magazine reference:

Bhaskaran, K., et al. (2022) Overall and cause-specific hospitalization and death after COVID-19 hospitalization in England: A cohort study with linked primary care, secondary care, and death registration data in the OpenSAFELY platform. PLOS medicine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.