Severe Covid-19 Doubles Risk Of Death In The Year After Illness

Survivors of severe Covid-19 are more than twice as likely to die over the following year than those who experienced milder symptoms or remained uninfected, according to new research published in Frontiers in Medicine, suggesting serious infections may cause significant damage to long-term health and underscoring the protection offered by vaccines. The risk following severe infection was particularly noteworthy in patients under 65, who had a 233% increased chance of dying compared to the uninfected, the researchers found. The increased risk of death for under 65s with severe Covid-19 was greater than that for those over the age of 65, the researchers found.

The research, by academics at the University of Florida, was based on an analysis of the electronic health records of 13,638 patients who underwent a PCR test for coronavirus within the University of Florida health system and recovered from the disease. The vast majority of patients—80%did not die from complications typically associated with Covid-19 like blood clotting or respiratory failure and died long after the initial infection had passed, the researchers said, meaning their deaths may never have been linked to Covid-19 by families or doctors. The findings suggest severe infection damages overall health and leaves patients vulnerable to other health issues, the researchers wrote, highlighting the importance of preventing serious illness through vaccination.

Patients with severe Covid-19 who recoveredwere at significantly greater risk of being hospitalized in the subsequent six months” said Arch Mainous, a professor at the University of Florida and the study’s lead author. “We must be especially vigilant in decreasing severe episodes of Covid-19” now we know it comes with a “substantial risk of dying from what would likely be considered to be an unrecognized complication… Taking your chances and hoping for successful treatment in the hospital doesn’t convey the full picture of the impact of Covid-19.”

While not able to prevent all infections, Covid-19 vaccines drastically cut the odds of severe illness and hospitalization in breakthrough cases. The vast majority of deaths from Covid-19 have been among the unvaccinated and hospitals in parts of the country have been pushed to their limits with a deluge of unvaccinated Covid-19 patients. Nearly a year after vaccines became freely and widely available in wealthy countries, leaders still lament the “pandemic of the unvaccinated” amid poor uptake and a resurgence of cases. Placing the immediate risk of Covid-19, this research supports a growing body of evidence outlining the persistent and sometimes new symptoms some coronavirus patients experience for weeks or months after their initial infection. The list of potentially debilitating symptoms for long Covid is long—one study identifies over 200—and covers the entire body, ranging from memory loss and hallucinations to tremors, fatigue and digestive issues. Research suggests that one in five Covid-19 patients will go on to be diagnosed with a mental illness within three months of recovery and conditions affecting the brain and thinking arecommon. Vaccines also appear to slash the risks of developing long Covidstudies suggest, though the precise mechanism of this is not yet understood, aside from preventing infection in the first place.

Source: https://www.frontiersin.org/
AND
https://www.forbes.com/