Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

COVID-19 postacute care major organ damage: a systematic review.

Greer N, Bart B, Billington CJ, Diem SJ, Ensrud KE, Kaka A, Klein M, Melzer AC, Reule S, Shaukat A, Sheets K, Starks J, Vardeny O, McKenzie L, Stroebel B, Macdonald R, Sowerby K, Duan-Porter W, Wilt TJ. COVID-19 postacute care major organ damage: a systematic review. BMJ open. 2022 Aug 24; 12(8):e061245.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Major organ complications have been reported in patients hospitalised for COVID-19; most studies lacked controls. OBJECTIVE: Examine major organ damage postdischarge among adults hospitalised for COVID-19 versus non-COVID-19 controls. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Library from 1 January 2020 to 19 May 2021. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: English language studies of adults discharged from hospital for COVID-19; reporting major organ damage. Single review of abstracts; independent dual review of full text. STUDY APPRAISAL AND SYNTHESIS METHODS: Study quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute Appraisal Checklist for Cohort Studies. Outcome data were not pooled due to heterogeneity in populations, study designs and outcome assessment methods; findings are narratively synthesised. RESULTS: Of 124 studies in a full evidence report, 9 included non-COVID controls and are described here. Four of the nine (three USA, one UK) used large administrative databases. Four of the remaining five studies enrolled < 600 COVID-19 patients. Mean or median age ranged from 49 to 70 years with 46%-94%?male and 48%-78% White race; 10%-40% had been in intensive care units. Follow-up ranged from 4 weeks to 22 weeks postdischarge. Four used hospitalised controls, three non-hospitalised controls and two were unclear. Studies used various definitions of, and methods to assess, major organ damage outcomes. While the magnitude of effect differed across studies, incident cardiac, pulmonary, liver, acute and chronic kidney, stroke, diabetes, and coagulation disorders were consistently greater in adults hospitalised for COVID-19 compared with non-COVID-19 controls. LIMITATIONS: Applicability to subgroups (age, gender, COVID-19 severity, treatment, vaccination status) and non-hospitalised patients is unknown. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS OF KEY FINDINGS: Postacute COVID-19 major organ damage is common and likely higher than controls. However, there is substantial uncertainty. More consistent reporting of clinical outcomes and pre-COVID health status along with careful selection of control groups are needed to address evidence gaps. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42020204788.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.