PATIENTS discharged from hospital after Covid-19 appear to have increased rates of "multiorgan dysfunction" compared with similar individuals in the general population, according to findings published in the BMJ.
Researchers from the Office for National Statistics, University College London (UCL) and University of Leicester followed up on 47,780 individuals (average age 65 years, 55 per cent men) in England with Covid-19, discharged alive by 31 August 2020.
Participants were matched with controls, based on personal characteristics and 10 years of medical history. Health records were then used to track rates of hospital readmission (or any admission for controls), death from any cause, and diagnoses of respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic, kidney, and liver diseases.
Over an average follow-up of 140 days, nearly a third of individuals who were discharged from hospital after acute COVID-19 were readmitted (14,060 of 47,780), and more than one in 10 (5,875) died after discharge.
National Statistician Sir Ian Diamond said: "The increase in risk was not confined to the elderly and was not uniform across ethnic groups. The findings contribute to our understanding of the long-term implications of Covid-19, both for patients and our health services."
Professor Kamlesh Khunti of the University of Leicester said: "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."