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Study: hospitalised COVID-19 patients likely to face limited recovery

A study has found people hospitalised with COVID-19 who had symptoms at five months show limited further recovery one year after being discharged.

The NIHR-led Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID) also found participants who were female, obese and required ventilation were less likely to make a full recovery.

A total of 2,230 patients took part in the UK-wide study, including 127 at the Churchill and John Radcliffe hospitals in Oxford.

Recovery was measured using participants providing information about their health, physical performance and organ function tests.

Less than three in ten participants reported they felt fully recovered at five and 12 months after discharge, the study, released as a pre-print on medRxiv, found.

The most common ongoing symptoms were fatigue, muscle pain, physically slowing down, poor sleep and breathlessness. Participants felt their health-related quality of life remained substantially worse one year after discharge, compared to before.

Chief Investigator Professor Chris Brightling said: “The PHOSP-COVID study is further evidence of the UK’s ability to combine expertise across both disease area and geography to rapidly gather data to help us understand the longer term implications of Long-COVID in hospitalised patients with persistent symptoms. 

“When you consider that over half a million people in the UK have been admitted to hospital as a result of COVID-19, we are talking about a sizeable population at risk of persistent ill-health and reduced quality of life.”

The study was supported by NIHR and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Read more about this study at the NIHR website.