COVID-19. Clots, heart damage, brain damage… long-term effects, devastating to the body

Scientific discoveries about Covid-19, which appeared just over two years ago, continue to multiply.

“Increased risk of hospitalization and mortality”

More recent: according to a previously published study by researchers at the University of Hong Konga Covid-19 infection “significantly” increases the risk of contracting other serious diseases later: lung, cardiovascular, neurological, muscular, digestive diseases and even certain types of cancer.

Worse yet: According to this study, even a mild infection leads to an increased risk of severe illness and early death.

There is an increased risk of hospitalization and mortality. [précoce] due to a wide variety of post-Covid-19 pulmonary and extrapulmonary diseases, especially severe infections. Mild disease was also associated with higher all-cause mortality.

Study authors

The study was published online March 23 by researchers at the University of Hong Kong. They drew on a titanic amount of health data: that of 412,000 British patients, from the huge UK Biobank databasethat gathers the medical information of more than 500,000 people.

High-risk severely affected patients

All patients included in the study were hospitalized at least once between January 31, 2020 -date of the first case detected in the United Kingdom- and September 30, 2021 (October of deaths).

The scientists then measured the risk of being hospitalized or dying (whatever the cause) among 25,460 Covid-infected patients and others. Biases induced by risk factors other than Covid have been taken into account and corrected, starting with the age of the patients.

135 disease categories

The results are clear: Covid-19 infection alone, especially in severe cases, “significantly” increases the risk of being hospitalized or even dying prematurely from a large number of pathologies: no less than 135 categories were taken. of diseases into account.

In detail, patients suffering from a severe form of Covid-19 (those who were hospitalized for this reason) were up to 12 times more hospitalized, then, for other respiratory diseases, such as pneumothorax.

The risk of stroke multiplied by five

The risk of myocardial infarction appears to double. And it’s four times higher for cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), five times for kidney dysfunction and almost four times for Parkinson’s disease. The risk is multiplied by almost 10 for brain damage as a whole.

Even the risk of fracture, which can be explained by the great fatigue that often follows Covid-19, is multiplied by three or four.

Covid-19, in its most severe forms, is also associated with a high risk of secondary infections: four times more bacterial infections in former hospitalized patients. But also… cancers: researchers have identified up to three times more cases of stomach tumors, and five times more cases of brain tumors.

Sometimes an indirect effect of Covid-19

According to the authors, it is not always Covid-19 that directly causes the increase in these risks, but the general deterioration of the health status of patients, whose immune system is severely affected. In fact, certain bacterial infections can favor the appearance or development of tumor lesions.

Logically, mortality is also much higher: patients treated in hospital for Covid-19 show 14 times higher mortality, all causes combined.

Patients who have suffered from one of the so-called mild forms of Covid-19 are not spared: to a lesser extent, they also suffer more frequently than other various pathologies, even several months after infection.

This is particularly true for certain conditions: muscle pain or lung problems such as inhalational lung disease (inflammation of the lungs due to passage of stomach contents into the airways).

20% mortality risk for mild forms

Even these patients show an increased risk of premature mortality from all causes: 20% on average, but up to nine times higher in the case of a neurocognitive condition:

Given the very high number of people infected by the coronavirus, even a modest increase in mortality risk implies a large number of additional deaths. This suggests that containing infections remains important, as do efforts to decrease the number of severe cases.

Study authors

This increased risk remains measurable for at least several months after infection with Covid-19. In most cases, the excess hospitalizations and deaths occurred within three months of infection.

But even after six months, the increased risk remains high, particularly for certain diseases: inhalational lung disease, kidney failure, injuries and fractures, bacterial infections.

another study, relative to hundreds of patients affected by a “long covid”, was released in early April. He revealed another worrying figure: one patient in five suffers from heart failure six months after infection. Half of them still have it twelve months later.

From a public health point of view, we need to consider the total burden caused by Covid-19 to determine the measures to take (such as lifting restrictions), including complications caused by Covid, as well as disabilities and mortality from a these complications

The authors of the Hong Kong study

The lifting of restrictions in question?

Most European countries, such as France, have lifted most health measures in recent weeks despite a sharp rebound in the epidemic. However, many of them have reinstated the mandatory use of masks indoors to limit the increase in pollution.

In the United Kingdom, which has lifted almost all its health restrictions for several months, hospital admissions are skyrocketing and the number of infections continues to explode, as the British Medical Journal recallsdeploring the risk of oxygen deprivation.

Germany voted against compulsory vaccination of people over the age of 60 on Thursday. But the Minister of Health, pointing to the risk of prolonged covid, warns:

Today, everyone should try to avoid contamination. Even if the symptoms are mild at the time, there is a risk of life changing. Nobody likes to hear it, but that’s the way it is.

Karl Lauterbach, German Minister of Health

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