Most 'long COVID' patients were not initially hospitalized with the infection, study finds

About a third of long COVID patients didn't have any pre-existing conditions

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

About 76% of people who have been diagnosed with the post-coronavirus health condition known as "long COVID" were not sick enough to be hospitalized when they were initially infected, according to a study released Wednesday. 

More than two years into the pandemic, the lingering symptoms of COVID-19 that many patients experience have come under the microscope. 

The study released Wednesday, which was conducted by the non-profit FAIR Health and has not been peer-reviewed, analyzed more than 78,000 people who were diagnosed with long COVID between October 2021 and January 2022. 

LONG COVID SYMPTOMS MAY DEPEND ON THE VARIANT A PERSON CONTRACTED

About three-quarters, 75.8%, of long COVID patients were not previously hospitalized with the disease. 

Health care workers on hand as they administer COVID-19 tests in the parking lot at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. 

Health care workers on hand as they administer COVID-19 tests in the parking lot at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI.  (John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

While the elderly are most vulnerable to serious complications from COVID-19, people between the ages of 36 and 50 were most susceptible to developing long COVID. 

Women made up about 60% of long COVID patients, even though females are less likely to die from COVID-19 than men. The study further found that 81.6% of all females with long COVID had not been hospitalized, but just 67.5% of all males with long COVID had not been hospitalized. 

LONG COVID-19 MAY BE CAUSED BY ABNORMALLY SUPRESSED IMMUNE SYSTEM: UCLA STUDY

The most common symptoms reported by coronavirus long-haulers were breathing problems, cough, and fatigue, but other less reported symptoms include heart beat abnormalities and sleep disorders. 

About a third of people who had long COVID did not have any pre-existing conditions, and some of them didn't develop any symptoms at all when first infected, according to the study. 

A patient suffering from long COVID is examined by medical staff in the post-coronavirus disease clinic of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 21, 2022. 

A patient suffering from long COVID is examined by medical staff in the post-coronavirus disease clinic of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, February 21, 2022.  (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

Studies vary on what proportion of people who contract COVID-19 develop long-term symptoms. A UCLA study last month found that 30% of coronavirus infections lead to long COVID, while University of Michigan researchers found that about 43% of people develop lingering symptoms. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

President Biden directed Health Secretary Xavier Becerra last month to "coordinate a new effort across the federal government to develop and issue the first-ever interagency national research action plan on Long COVID."