Story at a glance

  • FAIR Health surveyed more than 1.9 million COVID-19 patients.
  • It found pain, breathing difficulties, hyperlipidemia and malaise to be common post-COVID-19 effects.
  • Researchers hope more studies in post-COVID-19 health will be conducted.

A detailed new report suggests that nearly one-quarter of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 continued to struggle with side effects at least one month after their initial diagnosis, adding to the burgeoning knowledge about the coronavirus that took over the world in 2020. 

Researchers examined more than 1.9 million patients without serious comorbidities like cancer, kidney disease and hepatitis. This makes it one of the largest comprehensive COVID-19 surveillance studies so far.

Data come from multiple health care systems and private claim records across the U.S. 

It found that 23.2 percent of patients with COVID-19 have one post-COVID-19 condition, a report from FAIR Health notes, with most occurring in patients who suffered from severe infections, although some asymptomatic patients were found to develop common symptoms as well. 

Of patients who were hospitalized, half ended up having some type of post-COVID-19 condition. 

Among those with lingering post-COVID-19 symptoms, the most common included pain, breathing difficulties, hyperlipidemia, malaise and fatigue, and hypertension.

More post-COVID-19 symptoms were also discovered in women than men during the study.


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Notably, heart inflammation was found to be a relatively prominent aftereffect, primarily among men, but also present in women.

People 19-34 were most affected by cardiac inflammation. This follows reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) documenting instances of myocarditis among young men under the age of 30 following vaccination. No link is established in FAIR Health’s white paper.  

The study also noted mental health conditions occurred frequently as post-COVID-19 conditions, with anxiety being the leading symptom among recovering patients, followed by depression. 

This adds to the literature on the lingering health conditions of COVID-19 infections. 

“The findings in this report are significant for all individuals who have long-haul COVID, as well as for providers, payors and policy makers,” researchers conclude. “Additionally, FAIR Health hopes that these findings will be starting points for further research in this field.”


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Published on Jun 15, 2021