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Long COVID Symptom Similar to That of the Flu, Sepsis

Article

In this population-based cohort study, researchers compared the risks of incident cardiovascular, neurological, and mental health conditions and rheumatoid arthritis in a year following COVID hospitalization to three different groups: pre-pandemic hospitalization for influenza, pre-pandemic hospitalization for sepsis and hospitalization for sepsis post-pandemic.

Data revealed venous thromboembolic disease was the only condition post-hospitalization to occur at comparable rates in those hospitalized for sepsis and the flu.

Data revealed venous thromboembolic disease was the only condition post-hospitalization to occur at comparable rates in those hospitalized for sepsis and the flu.

Risks associated with COVID-19 infection after hospitalization are similar to those associated with other infectious diseases like sepsis and the flu, according to a recent study published in JAMA Network.

Researchers of the study found that venous thromboembolic disease was the only condition post-hospitalization to occur at comparable rates in those hospitalized for sepsis and the flu.

It’s been reported that it’s unclear how post-hospitalization risks for COVID compare with those of other serious infectious illnesses, as those who survive COVID hospitalization are known to be at risk for developing new cardiovascular, neurological, mental health and inflammatory autoimmune conditions.

In this population-based cohort study, researchers compared the risks of incident cardiovascular, neurological, and mental health conditions and rheumatoid arthritis in a year following COVID hospitalization to three different groups: pre-pandemic hospitalization for influenza, pre-pandemic hospitalization for sepsis and hospitalization for sepsis post-pandemic.

Participants of the study were made of adults 18 and older in Ontario, Canada who were hospitalized with COVID-19 between April 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021, and followed up for up to 1 year after hospitalization. Participants with for flu or sepsis were hospitalized between January 1, 2014, and March 25, 2019, and those with sepsis during the pandemic were hospitalized between April 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021.

There were insufficient flu cases during the pandemic to form a full comparison. The index study date was the date of discharge from hospital.

Of the 379,366 participants, 26,499 survived COVID-19 hospitalization. Of the historical controls, 17,516 had the flu and 282,473 had sepsis. Those with sepsis monitored during the pandemic made up 52,878 of the participants.

Hospitalization for COVID-19 was associated with an increased 1-year risk of venous thromboembolic disease compared with the flu but had no increase for the other post-acute conditions.

The rates of serious medical and mental health conditions following hospitalization for COVID-19, flu, or sepsis suggest that many of these conditions may be related to the severity of illness from any infection resulting to hospitalization, rather than being directly associated to COVID-19 infection.

Findings from the study contrast with prior research, which reported that COVID-19 was associated with substantially increased risks of multiple long-term health outcomes. Though, these associations may have been overestimated due to the choice of comparator groups in some studies.

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