Unvaccinated COVID patients remain at higher risk of death and cardiovascular disease for at least 18 months after infection, new research shows.
The findings follow a first-year study of more than 160,000 people coronavirus pandemic – before any jabs are available.
Those who contracted the disease between March and November 2020 were 81 times more likely to die within the first three weeks of infection, the study found.
A year and a half later, they were still five times more likely to die than uninfected people.
Patients were also at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, also up to 18 months after infection, which researchers say is part of the cardiovascular disease Lung COVID.
This includes coronary heart disease, heart failure, and deep vein thrombosis.
The researchers say their findings show that Coronavirus Patients should be monitored for at least one year after recovery.
Who took part in this study?
More than 7,500 COVID patients were identified as participating in the study through the UK Biobank, a large biomedical database containing extensive health data from half a million participants across the country.
Each patient was matched with up to 10 people who had not been infected with COVID in the first 18 months of the outbreak and with the 2018 historical cohort.
The researchers selected uninfected people who shared characteristics similar to those infected with the coronavirus, and all three groups had an average age of 66, with almost equal numbers of men and women.
Lead study author Professor Ian Wong explained: “Historical control cohorts were included to rule out the impact of reductions or cancellations of routine healthcare services during the pandemic, which led to worse health and increased mortality, even in uninfected populations. .”
How was the study conducted?
Outcomes from monitoring medical records included heart failure and heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease death and all-cause death.
People with previous heart disease were excluded from the analysis.
The researchers then compared the number of infected people who became sick or died with the number of uninfected people who got sick or died.
COVID patients were found to be approximately four times more likely to develop major cardiovascular disease within three weeks of infection and 40 percent more likely to develop major cardiovascular disease in the subsequent 18 months.
Those with severe COVID were more likely to become ill or die within the same time frame.
The findings were published in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology.
COVID’s ‘huge impact’ on heart disease risk
ESC spokesman Professor Hector Bueno said the peer-reviewed study showed that patients with coronavirus should be monitored for cardiovascular disease.
“COVID-19 has had a huge impact on patients with cardiovascular disease, who are less likely to receive optimal care during the pandemic and more likely to die from infection,” he added.
Professor Wong said that while the study was conducted in 2020, the sheer number of people who had contracted COVID before vaccination meant it should still be used to assess future outbreaks.
A COVID vaccine has been shown to greatly reduce the chances of contracting the virus and reduce serious outcomes for those who do, but Professor Wong said more work is needed to determine the vaccine’s impact on cardiovascular disease risk in COVID patients.