"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Long Covid results in greater health risks, research shows

August 22, 2023 – People who've been infected with the COVID-19 virus are at higher risk for a lot of long-term health problems, including diabetes, lung problems, fatigue, blood clots, and gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal disorders.

This is the results of a brand new study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The school released a press release in regards to the study with the headline: “Long COVID remains a concern even 2 years after infection.”

The study was published within the journal Natural medicine.

“Some estimates suggest that more than 90% of the U.S. population is infected with COVID-19,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, director of research and development on the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System and clinical epidemiologist at Washington University, within the St. Louis Post-Dispatch“Doctors need to be aware that their patients may be at risk for these conditions, whether it's heart disease, lung problems, brain problems – they are at risk.”

As a part of the study, scientists examined the medical records of 138,000 patients who were infected in comparison with 6 million who weren't infected. They tracked 80 illnesses related to long COVID for 2 years, using unnamed records from the VA.

“There was nothing at all that looked at what happens to people two years after infection,” Al-Aly said. “So we decided to look into that.”

Patients who weren't hospitalized inside 30 days of infection had a better risk of death six months after recovery and a better risk of hospitalization inside 18 months. They had a better risk of diabetes, fatigue, joint pain and other problems than individuals who weren't infected.

“In the non-hospitalized group, the risks for multiple problems and multiple organ systems remained elevated,” Al-Aly said. “In the people who were hospitalized, the risk for all organ systems was pervasive. It really spans the entire range of organ systems affected.”

For individuals who were hospitalized, the danger of developing the disease after two years was 65 percent higher. For patients who weren't hospitalized, the danger was only 35 percent higher.