CDC data on long COVID-19: Two-thirds of non-hospitalized patients received new diagnoses

A CDC study released Friday found that two-thirds of non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients received some kind of new diagnosis up to six months after contracting the virus, supporting concerns about later health problems.

The research, done in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Georgia, examined electronic record data of health care visits from 3,171 patients if they were not hospitalized in the first 28 days after their coronavirus diagnosis.

It found that 69 percent of patients had one or more outpatient medical visits between 28 and 180 days after their initial COVID-19 diagnosis.

Among patients with medical visits, 68 percent received a new diagnosis and 38 percent visited a new specialist who did not treat the patient in the year before the COVID-19 diagnosis.

Patients who were older than 65, women, non-Hispanic Black patients and those with underlying health conditions were more likely to have an outpatient medical visit.

Why this matters: The study comes as the medical community has warned that patients with COVID-19 have reported ongoing health issues in the weeks and months after getting infected.

“Raising awareness among patients, clinicians, and health systems about common new diagnoses and health needs, including specialist evaluation, after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection is important to understand the long-term effects of the illness,” the study said.