Medical Technology

Severe COVID-19 Doubles Risk of Dying in the Year Following Study

Editor’s note: Get the latest COVID-19 news and instructions in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Patients who survive a serious COVID-19-related infection are more than twice as likely to die in the following year than those who are suffering from mild symptoms, and haven’t been infected according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Frontiers in Medicine.

The study found that patients who were aged 65 and younger were at greater risk. Only 20 percent of deaths caused by severe COVID-19 were caused by typical coronavirus complications such as respiratory failure.

This means that serious coronavirus infections could cause irreversible harm to long-term health and even lead to life-threatening complications.

“We conducted a study in the past that showed that patients with severe COVID-19 who recovered were at significantly greater risk of being hospitalized during the following six months. This study extends the study to examine mortality risk over the next 12 months,” Arch Mainous, PhD, the lead study author at the University of Florida, told The Guardian.

The researchers examined the electronic health records of over 13,000 patients who had been examined for COVID-19 by the University of Florida. Of those, 178 suffered from severe symptoms of the virus and were hospitalized within the first 30 days after being positive. The rest of the patients were negative. 246 more were suffering from mild or moderate symptoms. All patients in the study were cured of COVID-19.

Patients who had the most severe symptoms were found to have an 2.5 times higher risk of dying within the following year than those who tested negative and a 1.9 times higher risk than those with mild symptoms. Patients who were younger than 65 were at greater risk than those who had been negative for the test.

About 20% of the deaths were for cardiovascular or respiratory causes which are usually linked to coronavirus complications. The risk of death from respiratory disease was 4.5 times higher for those with severe COVID-19, as compared to those who tested negative. Similarly the risk of dying from heart problems was three times greater.

The remaining 80% of the deaths stemmed from a wide variety of reasons that aren’t typically associated with coronavirus. According to the study’s authors, patients may have were suffering from an illness which made them more prone to other diseases and illnesses.

“Since we know that there is a significant chance of dying from what is likely to be viewed as an unrecognized COVID-19 complication we must be even more vigilant when it comes to reducing severe episodes of COVID-19,” Mainous said.

The patients usually died long after the coronavirus infection had passed, the study authors found. The deaths could not be due to COVID-19 by the family members or medical professionals.

Mainous said that “taking your chances and hoping for a successful outcome in the hospital does not convey the full impact of COVID-19.” “We recommend that you use preventive measures such as vaccination to avoid severe COVID-19 episodes.


Frontiers in Medicine Frontiers in Medicine “COVID-19 Postacute Sequelae among Adults 12 Month Mortality Rate.”

The Guardian: Study finds that severe Covid infection doubles the risk of death in the following year.

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