Analysis of Remaining Long-COVID Symptoms Following Recovery of Initial Infection

June 18, 2021

FAIRHealth published its eighth white paper study on COVID-19 this past Tuesday. This iteration of the report detailed findings regarding the experiences of long-haul COVID patients who were 30 days or more removed from their initial COVID-19 diagnosis. 

One key finding identified that 23.2% of patients who had COVID-19 experienced at least one post-COVID condition. Moreover, the severity of one’s COVID-19 case seemed to play a role in one’s susceptibility to long-haul COVID conditions. Regardless of whether a person was hospitalized or experienced no symptoms, at least some portion of those who had COVID-19 were found to be susceptible to developing long-haul COVID conditions. Specifically, 50% of patients were hospitalized for their COVID-19 symptoms, 27.5% of those who were symptomatic but not hospitalized, and 19% of asymptomatic patients developed a post-COVID condition.

The most common post-COVID conditions for these individuals across every age group included pain, difficulties breathing, hyperlipidemia, malaise and fatigue, and hypertension. In more refined sample populations, there were some notable variances. Specifically, there were some slight variations between the different age groups. For example, the pediatric population (those between 0 and 18) had intestinal issues as the third most common post-COVID condition rather than hyperlipidemia. 

The study also focused on the mental health implications of COVID-19. Four different mental conditions were also a focal point of the study. The research found that anxiety cases were the most common out of the four, with depression, adjustment disorders, and tic disorders following.

Notably, females were generally more affected by long-COVID conditions than males were, except for 12 specific conditions (including post-COVID cardiac inflammation). 
Mortality rates were the final focus of the long-haul COVID patient study. With this lens, researchers found that the severity of one’s COVID-19 experience played a role in their likelihood of surviving following 30+ days after their initial diagnosis. Specifically, the study found that those hospitalized and later discharged were 46 times more likely to die than those who had never been hospitalized. Additionally, those with intellectual disabilities who suffered from COVID-19 were the most likely group out of all preexisting conditions to die 30+ days after their COVID-19 diagnosis.