Mild COVID-19 patients have low risk of long-term effects, study finds

COVID-19 patients who don't require hospitalization have a low risk of long-term, severe complications, according to a study published May 10 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Researchers evaluated the outcomes of 8,983 people in Denmark who tested positive for COVID-19 and did not require hospitalization for their infection from Feb. 27 to May 31, 2020, comparing them to a matched population of 80,894 uninfected people. Researchers followed both groups for two weeks to six months after testing. 

Aside from bronchodilating agents, those who had a mild infection did not have an increased risk of requiring a new prescription, compared to the uninfected cohort. COVID-19 patients had an increased risk of being diagnosed with dyspnoea, or shortness of breath, and venous thromboembolism, but not for any of the other diagnoses evaluated, researchers said. 

The group of COVID-19 patients was 1.18 times more likely to visit a general practitioner and 1.16 times more likely to seek an outpatient hospital visit throughout the six months after being diagnosed, compared to their uninfected peers. At the same time, those with mild COVID-19 were not more likely to require hospital admission. 

"The absolute risk of delayed acute complications, new onset of chronic disease, and hospital encounters for persisting symptoms 2 weeks to 6 months after SARS-CoV-1 infection not requiring hospital admission is low," researchers said. "However, increase in visits to general practitioners and outpatient hospital visits could indicate COVID-19 sequelae."

To view the full findings, click here


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