About 23 Percent of COVID-19 Patients Have Long-Lasting Symptoms, New Study Finds

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
June 16, 2021COVID-19
About 23 Percent of COVID-19 Patients Have Long-Lasting Symptoms, New Study Finds
Paramedics wheel a stretcher with a patient showing COVID-19 symptoms from a nursery house in Bochnia, Poland, on Dec. 1, 2020. (Omar Marques/Getty Images)

A large and detailed study found that although most patients recover within weeks from the CCP virus, nearly one-fifth develop at least one long-lasting symptom one month after their initial diagnosis.

The report (pdf) published on Tuesday by FAIR Health—an independent nonprofit health care organization—gathered data from nearly two million patients that were diagnosed with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus last year.

Researchers found that of the 1,95 million patients without serious health conditions, and who had tested positive for COVID-19—about 23 percent had at least one “post-COVID condition,” variously referred to as long-haul COVID-19.

“The five most common post-COVID conditions across all ages, in order from most to least common, were pain, breathing difficulties, hyperlipidemia, malaise and fatigue, and hypertension,” researchers said.

The patients analyzed ranged in age from children to the elderly. About 53 percent were female and 47 percent male. The data studied was collected from multiple health care systems and private health care claim records across the United States, making it one of the largest comprehensive CCP virus surveillance studies so far, according to FAIR Health.

Of the people that required hospitalization—the percentage that had a long-haul CCP virus condition was 50 percent, followed by 27.5 percent of patients who were symptomatic but not hospitalized, and 19 percent of patients who were asymptomatic. Of those patients hospitalized and discharged, about 0.5 percent died 30 days or more after their initial diagnosis.

Researchers also found that women were notably more likely to develop long-haul CCP virus symptoms than men, in most of the cases.

“Most of the post-COVID conditions that were evaluated were associated more with females than males,” researchers said. “In the case of 12 conditions, however, males more commonly had the condition diagnosed than females. For example, of patients who had post-COVID cardiac inflammation, 52 percent were male and 48 percent female.”

The age group of males that were most impacted by cardiac inflammation, or heart inflammation, was between 19 and 34.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recently released a report that about 800 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were found in people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. Of those, most were also reported to be around the ages of 30 or younger and with males making up the larger proportion. No link was established in FAIR Health’s whitepaper.

Patients excluded in the analysis due to their likelihood of having health issues unrelated to COVID-19 after diagnosis included cancer, chronic kidney disease, HIV, liver disease, stroke, viral hepatitis A, B, C, D or E, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, and spina bifida—a condition that affects the spine and is usually apparent at birth, the report noted.

COVID-19 is the disease that is caused by the CCP virus, also commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, a highly contagious virus that originated in China in late 2019.

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