Agence Science-Presse (www.sciencepresse.qc.ca)
Being infected with COVID seriously increases your risks of suffering grave health problems in the weeks following an infection – from type 1 diabetes to heart ailments.
The authors of a study that came out in July in PLOS Medicine took care to state that it was an “observational” study, which means they can’t show for certain that there is a cause-and-effect link. But the numbers are impressive enough to stir the interest of all those who, for the past two years, have tried to solve the riddle of the coronavirus’ long-term effects.
Researchers at King’s College London observe that people who have been infected with COVID run 6 times the risk of being diagnosed with a cardiovascular problem; 11 times the risk of a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung); 5 times the risk of a vein thrombosis (blood clot); and almost double the risk of diabetes.
The researchers studied the case files of over 400,000 patients who were diagnosed with COVID in 2020 and 2021, and who had had no prior diagnosis of diabetes or cardiovascular problems before getting COVID. The most recent follow-ups ended in January of 2022. The greatest incidence of health problems occurred in the 4 weeks immediately after infection – or, for diabetes, the following 12 weeks. After that, the incidence of health issues declined.
Practically from the beginning of the pandemic it has been suspected that the virus has these health impacts. This is surprising for a “respiratory virus.” So much so that when the word “thrombosis” first arose in diagnoses of post-COVID patients, some started to worry about the vaccines. The facts now lead us to affirm that regardless of the risks of being vaccinated, these negative health effects appear more often among those who have had the virus.
But all the uncertainty, which is not fully eliminated by this study, is in fact now doubled: on the one hand, what exactly is the risk level? To determine this, a deeper study of these medical dossiers should be undertaken to concentrate on those patients who had pre-existing conditions that put them at a greater risk of cardiovascular problems (obesity, for example). On the other hand, is it possible that a certain percentage of these patients will continue to suffer from cardiovascular issues over the long term, even beyond the first year after a COVID infection?