Long COVID in hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients in a large cohort in Northwest Spain, a prospective cohort study

Sci Rep. 2022 Mar 1;12(1):3369. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-07414-x.


Survivors to COVID-19 have described long-term symptoms after acute disease. These signs constitute a heterogeneous group named long COVID or persistent COVID. The aim of this study is to describe persisting symptoms 6 months after COVID-19 diagnosis in a prospective cohort in the Northwest Spain. This is a prospective cohort study performed in the COHVID-GS. This cohort includes patients in clinical follow-up in a health area of 569,534 inhabitants after SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 diagnosis. Clinical and epidemiological characteristics were collected during the follow up. A total of 248 patients completed 6 months follow-up, 176 (69.4%) required hospitalization and 29 (10.2%) of them needed critical care. At 6 months, 119 (48.0%) patients described one or more persisting symptoms. The most prevalent were: extra-thoracic symptoms (39.1%), chest symptoms (27%), dyspnoea (20.6%), and fatigue (16.1%). These symptoms were more common in hospitalized patients (52.3% vs. 38.2%) and in women (59.0% vs. 40.5%). The multivariate analysis identified COPD, women gender and tobacco consumption as risk factors for long COVID. Persisting symptoms are common after COVID-19 especially in hospitalized patients compared to outpatients (52.3% vs. 38.2%). Based on these findings, special attention and clinical follow-up after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection should be provided for hospitalized patients with previous lung diseases, tobacco consumption, and women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2*
  • Sex Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology