Major lasting health effects in COVID-19 patients post hospitalization: Study

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Scientists have assessed data from more than 1,600 COVID-19 patients in the US and found that within two months of leaving the hospital, nearly 7 percent of them had died, and 15 percent had ended up back in the hospital.

The researchers, including those from the University of Michigan in the US, analyzed the data from 1648 patients with COVID-19 admitted to 38 hospitals in Michigan and found that 398 died during hospitalization and 1250 survived.

They interviewed 488 of the patients who survived, by phone, around 60 days after their hospitalization.

According to the study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, more than 39 percent of the interviewed patients said they hadn’t gotten back to normal activities yet, two months after leaving the hospital.

Nearly 12 percent of them said they couldn’t carry out basic care for themselves anymore, or as well as before.

These data suggest that the burden of COVID-19 extends far beyond the hospital and far beyond health. The mental, financial and physical tolls of this disease among survivors appear substantial, – study co-author Vineet Chopra from the University of Michigan.

Nearly 23 percent of the patients said they became short of breath just climbing a flight of stairs, and one-third had ongoing COVID-like symptoms, including many who still had problems with taste or smell, the study noted.

About half of those interviewed said they’d been emotionally affected by their experience with COVID-19, including a minority who said they’d sought mental health care, the scientists added.

The sheer number of people struggling after COVID brings new urgency to developing programs to better promote and support recovery after acute illness- said Hallie Prescott, another co-author of the study.

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