A third of people treated in hospital for coronavirus infection end up coming back, and more than one in 10 die later, British researchers report.
Many of those who end up back in the hospital have a variety of problems that indicate long-term damage to the heart, the kidneys, the liver and other organs, the researchers reported.
The team at Britain’s Office for National Statistics, University of Leicester and elsewhere studied data on nearly 48,000 people treated in hospitals up through August. They were followed for an average of 140 days, or just under five months.
“Nearly a third of people post COVID-19 hospital discharge were re-admitted and more than one in 10 died,” the team wrote in a preprint study – one not reviewed by a medical journal but posted online.
“Secondly, rates of post-discharge multi-organ dysfunction were elevated in individuals with COVID-19 compared with those in the matched control group,” they added. This suggested they had damage beyond their lungs. Diabetes and severe heart events such as heart attacks were especially common, the team wrote.
People 70 and older and ethnic minorities were especially vulnerable to this long-term damage, the researchers said.
The findings fit in with other studies that indicate many people who survive a bout of severe coronavirus end up with longer-term health conditions that can turn deadly, the researchers said.