Coronavirus (Covid) and the death toll: Severe covid doubles risk of death in the year after illness, study finds

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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“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,” Robert Hart writes over at Forbes. “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. Arch Mainous, a professor at the University of Florida and the study’s lead author, said the research expanded upon previous work showing that patients with severe Covid-19 who recovered ‘were at significantly greater risk of being hospitalized in the subsequent six months.’ Mainous said 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.'” Robert Hart, “Severe Covid-19 Doubles Risk Of Death In The Year After Illness, Study Finds,” Forbes.com.