MONDAY, May 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Almost 30 percent of hospitalized patients and high-risk outpatients with COVID-19 develop postacute sequelae of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (PASC), according to a study published online April 7 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Sun M. Yoo, M.D., M.P.H., from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the association of demographic and clinical characteristics on development of PASC among hospitalized and high-risk outpatients from April 2020 to February 2021.

The researchers found that 29.8 percent of the 1,038 patients with longitudinal follow-up developed PASC. In hospitalized patients, the most common persistent symptom was fatigue, followed by shortness of breath (31.4 and 15.4 percent, respectively); in outpatients, anosmia was the most common persistent symptom. Factors independently associated with PASC included hospitalization for COVID-19, having diabetes, and higher body mass index (odds ratios, 1.49, 1.39, and 1.02, respectively); factors inversely associated with PASC were Medicaid versus commercial insurance and having had an organ transplant (odds ratios, 0.49 and 0.44). There was no association seen for PASC with age, race/ethnicity, Social Vulnerability Index, or baseline functional status.

“This study illustrates the need to follow diverse patient populations longitudinally to understand the long COVID disease trajectory and evaluate how individual factors such as preexisting comorbidities, sociodemographic factors, vaccination status, and virus variant type affect type and persistence of long COVID symptoms,” Yoo said in a statement.

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