Covid-19: the risk of death remains higher up to 18 months after infection

Covid 19 the risk of death remains higher up to 18

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    Dr Gérald Kierzek (Medical Director)

    According to the results of a recent cohort study conducted on British patients, people infected with covid have an increased probability of death in the first 3 weeks after infection. A risk reduced thereafter, but which lasts at least 18 months.

    How long do the harmful effects of Covid really last? This is a question that scientists are still trying to answer today. If a recent study declared that the vast majority of long covid symptoms disappear before 12 months, a new study this time focuses on determining the time during which we are weakened by the infection, and if our probability of death is modified by the covid.

    An 81 times higher risk of mortality in the first 3 weeks

    The Chinese researchers worked on a prospective cohort of 160,000 patients from the UK biobank, infected with COVID-19 between March 16 and November 30, 2020 and followed for an average of 18 months, until August 31, 2021. based on age and sex, each case was randomly matched with nearly 10 participants without COVID-19 infection from two other cohorts (a contemporary cohort between March 16, 2020 and November 30, 2020 and a historical cohort between March 16, 2018 and November 30, 2018).

    According to their observations, in the acute phase, patients with COVID-19 had an 81 times higher short-term risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality compared to the two cohorts compared.

    Regarding the post-acute phase conducted over 18 months, patients with COVID-19 presented a 5 times higher risk of long-term cardiovascular disease and mortality.

    A combination of risks to be monitored in the long term

    These figures are valuable for implementing effective prevention for people at risk. For Professor Ian CK Wong of the University of Hong Kong, author of the study: “The results indicate that patients with COVID-19 should be monitored for at least a year after recovery from acute illness, in order to diagnose cardiovascular complications of infection, which are part of long Covid.”

    For Dr. Gérald Kierzek, medical director of Doctissimo, the information is however not new:

    “The risk of mortality is higher in the first 3 weeks after infection, and like all viral syndromes or diseases that can give generalized inflammation, they can decompensate an underlying pathology” he recalls. “Covid can be serious, but in people who are already fragile, elderly, with other pathologies”.

    Regarding cardiovascular diseases, the doctor also makes a rational analysis:

    “We may also have overestimated the cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, these inflammations of the heart seen in Covid. Because we looked for them, which we don’t do in the flu for example. This may explain the short-term mortality, and in the long term, a more fragile state of health. People who have been in sheaves or hospitalized also have higher risk factors. In other words, it is the combination of risk factors that causes a higher risk of mortality but not intrinsically the virulence of SARS-CoV-2”.