Many Severe Covid-19 Survivors Die Within a Year, Study Finds

fahrbot-bot shares a report from Gizmodo: New research this week finds that people hospitalized with severe covid-19 often pay a heavy price afterward. The study concluded that these survivors were more than twice as likely to die in the subsequent 12 months compared to people who had tested negative for the virus. This relatively increased risk of death was even higher for people under the age 65. While there remains much research to be done, studies thus far have made it clear that many covid-19 survivors can experience lingering symptoms even after the infection itself has cleared up. And those who are hospitalized are all the more vulnerable to these aftereffects. Severe covid often seriously damages the lungs and other organs, while life-saving interventions like steroids, ventilators, and life support devices like ECMO can take a toll on the body as well. Researchers from the University of Florida had already published a study in July showing that hospitalized survivors were significantly more likely to be hospitalized again within six months, compared to those with mild to moderate covid-19. This new study of theirs, based on an examination of anonymous electronic health records, instead looked at the long-term mortality risk of patients up to a year later. Nearly 14,000 patients in the same health care system were studied. These included 178 diagnosed with severe COVID-19 and 246 diagnosed with mild to moderate covid-19, as well as many others who tested negative for the virus but may have been sick for other reasons and received medical care in some way. Compared to covid-negative patients, and even after accounting for other factors like age and sex, those with severe covid were 2.5 times more likely to die in the next 12 months after their illness. Overall, just over 52% of severe covid patients died in a year's time. There was no significant increased risk of mortality for mild to moderate cases, however. "About 20% of the deaths among these patients post-infection were attributed to problems with either the respiratory or cardiovascular system," the report adds. "[A]mong patients in this study, the associated risk of dying was actually relatively greater for survivors of severe covid under age 65 than it was for patients over 65. Compared to similarly aged but non-infected people, they were more than three times more likely to die in the months after their hospitalization." The findings have been published in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

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