A study released Wednesday found that adults 65 and older are more likely to develop health conditions after a severe infection with Covid-19.
“The results confirm an excess risk for persistent and new sequelae in adults aged ≥65 years after acute infection with SARS-CoV-2,” study author Ken Cohen wrote.
The study titled, “Risk of persistent and new clinical sequelae among adults aged 65 years and older during the post-acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection: retrospective cohort study,” found that a third of older adults are likely to experience effects after acute symptoms are over. Researchers determined the results by analyzing health insurance data from over 133,000 people in the U.S. who were diagnosed with Covid-19 before April 1, 2020.
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“The increased risk during the post-acute phase was found for sequelae of the respiratory, cardiovascular, neurologic, hematologic, endocrine, and kidney systems, and for diagnoses related to mental health,” the study concluded for those aged 65 and older.
Though no one knows the true effects of the Covid-19 virus long-term, because the virus is only around three years old, data is emerging about the effects on the most vulnerable populations. In older adults, the long-term effects are developing health conditions which include respiratory failure, hypertension, memory difficulties, mental health diagnoses (dementia), hyper-coagulability, and cardiac rhythm disorder.
Thirty-two percent of people researchers looked at sought medical attention months after infection for primarily these health concerns, which is 11% higher when compared to the control group who did not have a Covid-19 diagnosis. The concern is that as more people get infected with Covid-19, more people will report experiencing health concerns months after contracting the virus.
With 406 million cases reported nationwide, “the number of survivors with sequelae after the acute infection will continue to grow,” the study predictions.
The study also found that men over 65 were more likely to experience these health concerns after a Covid-19 diagnosis and acute symptoms, as were Black people. It also found an increased risk for those over the age of 75. For hospitals and health care facilities, this means better keeping track of and identifying Covid-19 diagnoses as a potential risk factor for further illness or as a potential explanation for any symptoms.
“These data can help to define the sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the post-acute phase in the older adult population, and to evaluate and manage these patients appropriately,” the study revealed.
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