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Even mild Covid linked to higher risk of fatal blood clots: study


The results are another sign of the hidden dangers of the virus

Covid-19 at any level of severity is linked to an increased risk of dangerous blood clots which start in patients’ veins and travel to the heart, lungs and other parts of the body, according to a British study which highlights the role of the pandemic in driving up rates of cardiovascular disease.

Non-hospitalized Covid patients were 2.7 times more likely to develop dangerous clots called venous thromboembolism and were more than 10 times more likely to die than people who avoided the disease, scientists from Queen Mary University of London have found. in a study of nearly 54,000 people followed for about 4 1/2 months on average. The increased risk was highest in the first 30 days after illness onset, but could remain elevated for even longer, the researchers said.

The results are another sign of the hidden dangers of the virus that can result from even mild cases. Yet the risks were significantly worse for patients hospitalized with Covid, who had a 28 times greater risk of venous thromboembolism, 22 times greater risk of heart failure and 18 times greater risk of stroke than people not affected. Their risk of dying was 118 times higher than that of their uninfected counterparts.

The research, based on data collected during the country’s first two waves of Covid from UK Biobank study participants, was published in the journal Heart on Monday. This adds to the evidence of Covid’s propensity to damage blood vessels and cause life-threatening clots, particularly early in infection.

“Our results highlight the increased cardiovascular risk of people who have already contracted an infection, which is likely to be greater in countries where access to vaccination is limited and therefore greater exposure of the population to Covid- 19,” said Zahra Raisi-Estabragh, clinical research fellow at Queen Mary, and the co-authors wrote. “Further research is needed to delineate the period during which the increased cardiovascular risk persists.”

The “astronomical” increase in the risk of death in non-hospitalized Covid patients is “another reminder that, although many countries seem to have normalized Covid infection, there is nothing normal about Covid”, a said Ziyad Al-Aly, head of research. and development within the St. Louis Veterans Health Care System.

“We cannot truly emerge from this pandemic without an exit strategy that blocks transmission and outpaces the ever-evolving variants of this virus,” said Al-Aly, whose own studies have led to important early discoveries about health effects of Covid. E-mail. “We urgently need a variant-proof strategy and vaccines that reduce transmission.”

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