Skip to main content

Project #45:
Overall and cause-specific hospitalisation and death after COVID-19 hospitalisation in England: cohort study in OpenSAFELY using linked primary care, secondary care and death registration data


There is concern about medium to long-term effects of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to investigate whether people have a higher risk of hospital admission and death after being discharged from hospital following illness with COVID-19.

We used anonymised electronic health records from English hospitals to identify people who had been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 and then later discharged. We also gathered further details about these individuals from linked GP records. We then looked at whether these patients were re-admitted to hospital later, or died (using national death registration data). For comparison, we also used data from before the pandemic and looked at hospitalisations and deaths in people who had previously been in hospital with influenza, and in people who had not been in hospital at all.

24,673 people who had been discharged from hospital following illness with COVID-19 were identified. These individuals had higher risks of returning to hospital and dying compared with people who had never been in hospital. They also had higher risks of dying than people who had been in hospital with influenza prior to the pandemic, but similar risks of being readmitted to hospital.

We concluded that the higher risks for rehospitalisation and death in people discharged after a COVID-19 hospital admission compared with the general population might create a substantial extra burden on healthcare.


  • Study leads: Krishnan Bhaskaran
  • Organisation: University of Oxford and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine