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COVID-19 Survivors Face Elevated Threats Even 3 Years Post-Infection

COVID-19 Survivors Face Elevated Threats Even 3 Years Post-Infection

COVID-19 Survivors Face Elevated Threats Even 3 Years Post-Infection. Credit | GETTY IMAGES

United States: Individuals infected with COVID-19 are at an augmented risk of cerebral, gastrointestinal, and pulmonary complications three years post-infection, as indicated by a study disseminated in the scholarly journal Nature Medicine.

Although health complications stemming from a COVID-19 infection diminished annually, they remained significantly higher for those who had been hospitalized due to a SARS-CoV-2 infection – the virus responsible for the global pandemic, according to reports by baynews9.com.

In their research, scientists scrutinized 135,161 US seniors who had contracted COVID-19, juxtaposing them with over 5 million patients within the US Department of Veterans Affairs system who had not been infected. Among those infected, 15 percent had required hospitalization.

All study participants were enrolled between March and December 2020, a period before COVID vaccines were available and when the initial strain of COVID-19 prevailed. For the ensuing three years, the participants were monitored for mortality and disease risk.

The study revealed that individuals who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 exhibited a higher mortality rate compared to those who were not hospitalized or never contracted the virus. It also found that irrespective of hospitalization status, individuals infected with COVID-19 faced an increased risk of gastrointestinal, neurological, and pulmonary issues three years later.

Those hospitalized were at an increased risk for further complications three years post-infection, including cardiovascular and coagulation disorders, as well as fatigue and psychological issues.

Hospitalized patients experienced an 8.4-fold increase in health deterioration compared to those who contracted COVID-19 but did not require hospitalization.

“The explanation may be related, in part, to the vulnerability of people who develop severe COVID-19 with respect to more co-existing medical conditions, immune system dysfunction or genetic predisposition,” the researchers explained, according to reports.

They highlighted that other studies have identified a correlation between severe COVID-19 infections and persistent health risks across various tissues and organ systems, suggesting that the severity of the acute infection is a principal factor driving long-term adverse health outcomes.

The researchers emphasized the necessity for extended studies to understand how the health risk trajectories of infected individuals evolve over time.

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