People who have had documented Covid-19 infection are more likely to be hospitalized or develop diabetes or high blood pressure in the months following their illness, an indication of the severity of the so-called long Covid, according to a South Carolina study Health insurers.
Discovery Health Ltd members who were monitored for about a year after contracting Covid-19 were more likely to seek treatment for the two chronic diseases, said Shirley Collie, Chief Health Analytics Actuary from Discovery, in an interview. The risk of being hospitalized for any reason increased by 10 to 20 percent, she said. Despite this, the risk of death is no higher. Discovery has approximately 3.7 million members.
“We are not seeing an increased mortality risk for the recovered population,” she said. “That’s very reassuring.”
Nevertheless, “the other things we’re seeing in the data are this increased risk of registering for diabetes and getting a diabetes diagnosis and a high blood pressure diagnosis . So that’s pretty clear in terms of the increased risk,” she said.
Medical professionals around the world have long struggled to understand Covid, where many of those who have had even mild infections have a number of diseases exhibiting symptoms for many months after their illness. According to a report released last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five Americans had ongoing health problems from Covid-19 after the first positive test.
Data from a survey of 7,000 Discovery Health members the have recovered from acute Covid-19:
- A 1.38 times greater risk of developing diabetes within two to 12 months of recovering from Covid-19
- A 2.8 times greater risk of hospitalization in the first month after recovery from acute Covid-19 infection and a 1.5 times greater risk two to 12 months after recovery , 12% reported dizziness, 11% poor concentration and 10% muscle and joint pain en
- 43% reported difficulties in performing activities necessary for daily living. 30% had trouble concentrating, 20% had trouble walking, 16% had problems with their vision and difficulties with hearing, communication and self-care.
< li>A 1.11 times greater risk of developing hypertension during this period
Ob The higher risk of diabetes and high blood pressure is due to this that more people seek help and are therefore more likely to be diagnosed with the condition, Collie said. Her team is considering whether corticosteroid treatment, which some people receive during the acute phase of Covid-19, might affect outcomes.
Covid-19 vaccination prevents many of these problems, she said.< /p>
“If you were vaccinated prior to your Covid-19 infection, we don’t see this long-term trend,” she said. “Then we see almost a return to the population rate for people who were not vaccinated at the time of infection and are subsequently vaccinated.”
This has yet to be examined by experts.
Preliminary results show that the Covid-19 shot, manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech SE, offers protection against serious illness from the recently discovered strains.
SA has the highest number of registered Covid-19 cases and deaths in Africa. While more than 100,000 people have officially died from the disease, excess death data, a measure of mortality compared to a historical average, shows that potentially three times as many people have died from the virus.
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