- Substantial numbers of patients recovering from COVID-19 will continue to experience residual pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities.
- About a third may experience mental status and cognitive function decline.
- Patients (predominantly female) who had "mild disease" experience inexplicable ongoing challenges to physical functioning, fatigue, and declines in QoL.
Why this matters
- These patients may need extended (>3 months) follow-up for mental and cognitive declines to mitigate possible posttraumatic stress syndrome.
- Multidisciplinary collaboration strategies are essential to address residual abnormalities.
- 124 patients; mean age, 59 years.
- COVID-19 severity: 20 critical, 26 severe, 51 moderate, 27 mild.
- Across COVID-19 severity grades, 99% of patients had reduced ground glass opacification on repeat CT.
- 42% had lung diffusion capacity below lower limit of normal.
- 91% had residual pulmonary parenchymal abnormalities at discharge.
- 93% with mild disease had normal chest X-rays.
- Proportion of patients with lingering limitations:
- 22%, 6-minute walking distance
- 16%, desaturation ≥4% upon 6-minute walking test.
- 36%, mental/cognitive decline.
- 10%, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS)-anxiety >10.
- 12%, HADS-depression >10.
- 15%, scores
- Health status: fatigue (69%), functional impairments in daily life (64%), general QoL (72%).
- Prospective observational study assessing long-term health consequences in Norwegian patients discharged following COVID-19 hospitalization.
- Funding: None.
- Survival, selection biases.
- Limited generalizability.