People with symptoms of long Covid are at higher risk of cardiac and lung disease, asthma, blood clots and stroke, research has argued.
Long Covid sufferers are also more likely to die within a year after contracting the virus and developing long-term side-effects, the US study in the JAMA Health Forum journal has said.
The study used health insurance records to compare 13,000 people with long Covid with 26,000 people with no evidence of Covid-19.
Adults with post-Covid-19 condition (PCC) or long Covid experienced increased risks for a number of cardiovascular outcomes, such as ischemic stroke.
“During the 12-month follow-up period, 2.8% of the individuals with PCC vs 1.2% of the individuals without Covid-19 died, implying an excess death rate of 16.4 per 1000 individuals,” the study also found.
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“As the number of PCC cases grows, it is essential to learn more about this subset of patients with Covid-19 for several reasons. Gaining additional insight into the risks and trajectory of the disease is essential for clinicians caring for these individuals, especially a need for primary prevention for individuals at higher risk.”
In particular, the importance of assessing ongoing health needs was flagged up as being crucial, with Elevance Health, the health provider behind the study, for example developing a care management programme specifically for at-risk individuals as a result.
“These findings will improve understanding of care needed for individuals with PCC, as well as inform health care systems directing resources toward surveillance, follow-up, and case management to this population,” the study concluded.