Veterans Who Survive COVID May Face the Fight of Their Lives

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Largest study to date finds higher risk of death, medication use, and “long COVID” symptoms.

Veterans who came down with COVID-19 who didn’t require hospitalization still experienced a higher risk of death six months later, as well as increased use of certain medications, compared with veterans without the illness, researchers found.

They also observed an excess burden of using medications, such as anti-anxiety drugs, opioid and non-opioid analgesics, and antihypertensive drugs among the COVID-19 patients at six months, the authors wrote in Nature.

“The constellation of evidence suggests that 30-day survivors of COVID-19 exhibited increased risk of death and health resource utilization, and substantial burden of health loss (spanning pulmonary and several extrapulmonary organ systems) and highlights the need for a holistic and integrated multidisciplinary long-term care of COVID-19 survivors,” Al-Aly and colleagues wrote.

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