Study shows higher health risks for COVID-19 patients

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 6:44 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - COVID is leading to higher health risks for patients even two years after getting the virus, according to a first-of-its-kind study from Washington University.

The two-year study compared the health outcomes of over 138,000 patients who had been infected with the virus to nearly 6 million non-infected people.

Researchers tracked the development of over 80 health conditions associated with long COVID, finding that people infected with COVID have a higher risk of developing health issues like diabetes, blood clots, heart failure and lung conditions.

People who were hospitalized have an even higher risk.

“In the group that was not hospitalized, we saw still elevated risks or persistently elevated risk for 31% of the problems that we looked at,” said Ziuad Al-Aly, with Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System. “We looked at 80 problems. For the people who were hospitalized, that figure went up to 65%. So nearly 2/3 of the problems that we looked at still manifested with increased risk two years after the infection for people who were initially hospitalized for it.”

Researchers also found these post-infection conditions led to the loss of about 80 healthy life years per 1 thousand non-hospitalized patients and 643 lost years per 1 thousand patients for those who had to be hospitalized.