Study: Patients with severe COVID-19 twice as likely to require hospitalization for other illnesses

(Associated Press (custom credit) | AP)
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:57 AM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WWSB) - A new University of Florida study has found that patients who had a severe case of COVID-19 are more than twice as likely than patients who had mild or moderate COVID-19 to need hospitalization again for health problems caused by COVID-19 complications.

More than 2 million Americans have been hospitalized for COVID-19 since Aug. 1, 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While a growing number of studies have explored long-term health complications among people who have recovered from COVID-19, most have focused on more mild symptoms such as altered sense of smell or taste or difficulty concentrating, said Dr. Arch G. Mainous III, the study’s lead investigator. The UF study, which appears in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, explores serious outcomes among people who have recovered from the disease. For the study, the UF team analyzed data from electronic health records of 10,646 patients treated at one health system.

The team’s findings reinforce the need for every eligible person to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, particularly people at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19, the researchers said. That includes older adults and those with obesity, diabetes or other chronic medical conditions.

“Data are, unsurprisingly, showing that people who aren’t vaccinated are more likely to get sick,” Mainous said. “Unfortunately, our data show that even if people are willing to take their chances with COVID-19 because they are not concerned about the disease, they are now more likely to have a complication like a heart attack or stroke because of this. Vaccination is critical.”

In addition to Mainous, the research team included Benjamin J. Rooks, M.S., a clinical research coordinator, and Frank A. Orlando, M.D., an assistant professor and assistant medical director, both in the department of community health and family medicine at the UF College of Medicine.

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