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New ORCHESTRA publication: Use of health services after COVID-19 diagnosis

The incidence and risk factors of selected drug prescriptions and outpatient care after SARS-CoV-2 infection in low-risk subjects: a multicenter population-based cohort study

This recent publication, from the EU-Funded ORCHESTRA project (Connecting European Cohorts to increase common and effective response to SARS-CoV-2 pandemic) aims to understand better the long-term implications of COVID-19, and who might be more at risk. The main outcomes are the usage of drugs and health services, following a COVID-19 infection, for people who usually do not need them (low-risk patients).


In the years since the COVID-19 pandemic knowledge has increased regarding the dynamics of transmission and clinical aspects of the infection, yet there is a lack of focus on low-risk subjects, with studies usually aiming to understand implications surrounding older adult, fragile or vulnerable populations. There is also still so much unknown surrounding the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection, referred to as post-COVID-19 condition (PCC). This study, using data extracted from healthcare databases in the Italian regions of Emilia Romagna and Veneto, aims to assess the incidence and risk factors regarding access to specific healthcare services, within 12 months of the initial SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis, in a low-risk population.


From the 35,128 subjects in Emilia Romagna and 88,881 in Veneto, a high percentage accessed the specific health services in the “post-acute phase” (the first months after the infection). Outpatient care was needed more frequently in both regions. Associated risk factors included: female sex, age greater than 40 years, baseline risk of hospitalization and death, moderate to severe acute COVID-19, and acute extrapulmonary complications. These results appear to show the need for clinical attention for people surviving COVID-19, even if previously healthy.

Read the full article here:

The ORCHESTRA (, coordinated by Prof. Tacconelli and the team of the University of Verona, is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and started on December 2020 with the aim of tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

The project involves 37 partners from 15 countries, establishing an international large-scale-cohort to generate rigorous evidence in the field of prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The identification of clinical and laboratory predictors to reduce severity and hospitalisation of COVID-19 and to prevent long COVID are among the main objectives of the project. Find out more:

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