HealthDay News — Individuals discharged from the hospital after acute COVID-19 have an increased risk for hospital readmission and mortality, according to a study published online March 31 in The BMJ.

Daniel Ayoubkhani, from the Office for National Statistics in Newport, Wales, and colleagues quantified rates of organ-specific dysfunction in individuals with COVID-19 after discharge from the hospital in a retrospective cohort study. A total of 47,780 individuals in England who were admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and discharged alive by August 31, 2020, were matched to controls from a pool of about 50 million people.

The researchers found that during a mean follow-up of 140 days, nearly one-third of those who were discharged after acute COVID-19 were readmitted (29.4%) and more than 1 in 10 (12.3%) died after discharge; these events occurred at rates of 766 and 320 per 1,000 person-years, respectively, which were 3.5 and 7.7 times greater than those in matched controls. Patients with COVID-19 also had significantly elevated rates of respiratory disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, with 770, 127, and 126 diagnoses per 1000 person-years, respectively. The rate ratios were higher for individuals aged younger than 70 years vs those aged 70 years and older and for ethnic-minority groups vs the White population, with the largest differences seen for respiratory disease (10.5 vs 4.6 and 11.4 vs 5.2, respectively).


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“Urgent research is needed to understand the risk factors for post-COVID syndrome so that treatment can be targeted better to demographically and clinically at risk populations,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca.

Abstract/Full Text