23% of people who had COVID-19 still have at least 1 condition, study finds

Among a study of nearly 2 million people who had COVID-19, more than 20 percent were left with at least one post-COVID-19 condition at least 30 days after their initial diagnosis, according to findings published June 15 by Fair Health, a national nonprofit organization. 

Using information from a database with more than 34 billion private healthcare insurance claims, Fair Health studied nearly 2 million COVID-19 patients for the prevalence of post-COVID-19 conditions at least 30 days after testing positive. 

Findings showed 23.2 percent had at least one post-COVID-19 condition. 

Four more findings: 

1. Post-COVID-19 conditions were substantial across all levels of infection, though they were most prevalent among those who had a severe infection. Of COVID-19 patients who required hospitalization, 50 percent had at least one lingering condition. The same was true for nearly 28 percent of symptomatic patients who didn't require hospitalization, and 19 percent of patients who had an asymptomatic infection. 

2. Pain was the most commonly reported post-COVID-19 condition, followed by difficulty breathing, hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol, malaise and fatigue and hypertension. 

3. For most of the post-COVID-19 conditions included in the analysis, women experienced them more often than men. 

4. The odds of death for patients who were hospitalized and discharged were 46 times higher than those who weren't hospitalized. For context, 0.5 percent of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized and discharged died 30 days or more after their initial diagnosis, the report said. 

Fair Health is an independent organization focused on improving transparency on healthcare costs and insurance information, and houses the largest database of private healthcare insurance claim records from 2002 to date. 

To view the full report, click here.


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