Post-COVID-19 syndrome risk factors and further use of health services in East England.

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Tsampasian, Vasiliki  ORCID logo
Haney, Shawn 
Blakely, Katy 
Weston, Samantha 

Post-COVID syndrome, defined as symptoms persisting for more than twelve weeks after the diagnosis of COVID-19, has been recognised as a new clinical entity in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection. This study was conducted to characterise the burden and predictors for post-COVID-19 syndrome in the local population. It was a community-based web-survey study conducted in Norfolk, East England, UK. We sent the survey to patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection by real-time polymerase chain reaction by December 6th, 2020. Questions related to the pre-COVID and post-COVID level of symptoms and further healthcare use. Baseline characteristics were collected from the primary care records. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to establish predictors for post-COVID-19 syndrome and further healthcare utilisation. Of 6,318 patients, survey responses were obtained from 1,487 participants (23.5%). Post-COVID-19 syndrome symptoms were experienced by 774 (52.1%) respondents. Male sex compared to female sex was a factor protective of post-COVID symptoms; relative risk (RR) 0.748, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.605-0.924. Body mass index was associated with a greater risk of developing post-COVID-19 symptoms (RR 1.031, 95% CI, 1.016-1.047, for 1 kg/m2). A total of 378 (25.4%) people used further health services after their index COVID-19 infection, of whom 277 (73.2%) had post-COVID symptoms. Male sex was negatively associated with the use of further health services (RR 0.618, 95% CI, 0.464-0.818) whereas BMI was positively associated (RR 1.027, 95% CI, 1.009-1.046). Overall, post-COVID-19 symptoms increased the probability of using health services with RR 3.280, 95% CI, 2.540-4.262. This survey of a large number of people previously diagnosed with COVID-19 across East England shows a high prevalence of self-reported post-COVID-19 syndrome. Female sex and BMI were associated with an increased risk of post-COVID-19 syndrome and further utilisation of healthcare.

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Prevention, Clinical Research, Health Services, 3 Good Health and Well Being
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PLOS Glob Public Health
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Public Library of Science (PLoS)