An article appearing in Nature on April 22, 2021 that was peer-reviewed and accepted for publication, entitled “High-dimensional characterization of post-acute sequalae of COVID-19” stated: “We show that beyond the first 30 days of illness, people with COVID-19 exhibit higher risk of death and health resource utilization. Our high dimensional approach identifies incident sequalae in the respiratory system and several others including nervous system and neurocognitive disorders, mental health disorders, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, malaise, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, and anemia.”
“We show increased incident use of several therapeutics including pain medications (opioids and non-opioids), antidepressants, anxiolytics, antihypertensives, and oral hypoglycemics and evidence of laboratory abnormalities in multiple organ systems. Analysis of an array of pre-specified outcomes reveals a risk gradient that increased across severity of the acute COVID-19 infection (non-hospitalized, hospitalized, admitted to intensive care).”
“The findings show that beyond the acute illness, substantial burden of health loss — spanning pulmonary and several extrapulmonary organ systems — is experienced by COVID-19 survivors. The results provide a roadmap to inform health system planning and development of multidisciplinary care strategies to reduce chronic health loss among COVID-19 survivors.”
Source Al-Aly, Z. et al. High-dimensional characterization of post-acute sequalae of COVID-19. Nature https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03553-9 (2021)
The study’s authors stated: “To our knowledge, this is the largest post-acute COVID-19 study to date involving 73,435 non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and 4,990,835 controls (corresponding to 2,070,615.52 person years of follow-up), and 13,654 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, and 13,997 patients hospitalized with seasonal influenza (corresponding to 12,179.05 person years of follow-up). We leveraged the breadth and depth of the US Department of Veterans Affairs national health care databases — the largest nationally integrated healthcare delivery system in the US — to undertake a comprehensive high-dimensional comparative approach (relative to control groups) to identify the 6-months health outcomes and clinical manifestations in COVID-19 patients who survived the first 30 days of COVID-19 illness. We further examined risk in a pre-specified set of outcomes with higher diagnostic resolution across care settings to enable a deeper understanding of the clinical symptomatology and diagnoses of post-acute COVID-19 across the spectrum of severity of the acute phase of the infection.”
The study concluded: “In conclusion, the findings show that beyond the first 30 days of illness, substantial burden of health loss — spanning pulmonary and several extrapulmonary organ systems — is experienced by survivors of the acute phase of COVID-19. Our results inform the global discussion on the post-acute manifestations of COVID-19; the findings provide a roadmap to inform health system planning and development of care strategies aimed at reducing chronic and permanent health loss and optimizing wellness among COVID-19 survivors.”
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