Long COVID symptoms in a population-based sample of persons discharged home from hospital

Can J Public Health. 2022 Sep 21. doi: 10.17269/s41997-022-00695-9. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: The impact of long COVID among persons hospitalized and discharged home is unknown. We aimed to (1) report the prevalence of long COVID in persons hospitalized for COVID-19 and discharged home; (2) estimate the prevalence of physical, sensory, and psychological/mental health impairments; and (3) explore associated factors.

METHODS: We conducted a telephone survey of adult residents in Laval, Quebec, who were discharged home ≥ 2 months post-hospitalization for COVID-19. Participants responded to a standard questionnaire regarding persistent symptoms. We calculated the prevalence of long COVID and of persistent types of symptoms and evaluated associated factors using bivariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: In our sample (n = 398), 70% reported physical symptoms, 58% psychological problems, and 16% sensory impairments. 31.5% reported being troubled by persistent symptoms (long COVID). Factors associated with long COVID were a greater number of symptoms (odds ratio (OR) = 1.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.69-2.28) and increased hospital stay (OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.01-1.06). Other factors associated with physical and psychological symptoms were female sex (OR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.27-3.71 and OR = 2.06, 95% CI = 1.25-3.39; respectively), higher education level (OR = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.20-3.68 and OR = 2.43, 95% CI = 1.44-4.14; respectively), and obesity (OR = 1.95, 95% CI = 1.15-3.34 and OR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.05-2.77; respectively).

CONCLUSION: In this population-based study of persons hospitalized for COVID-19 and discharged home, nearly one third were troubled by symptoms for 2 months or more post-discharge. There was a high proportion with persistent physical and psychological/mental health symptoms. Further research will assess the specific needs of these patients to inform health policy makers on service requirements for these persons.

PMID:36131218 | DOI:10.17269/s41997-022-00695-9

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