Coronavirus: Increased risk of severe thrombosis up to six months after infection

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People who had an infection Covid-19then face an increased risk for deepening venous thrombosis for pulmonary embolism, ie both sides of venous thromboembolic disease, according to a new Swedish scientific study involving Greek scientist.

The risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg) is increased to three months after Covid-19, the risk of pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) is increased to six months after while for bleeding for up to two months post.

The study shows that the risk is higher for those patients who have underlying diseases (comorbidities) and those who have had more severe Covid-19 in the past. It also highlights the need for measures to prevent such thrombotic events, especially in high-risk patients, and the importance of vaccination. Covid-19 is known to increase the risk of severe thrombosis, but a new study shows for the first time that this risk persists long after recovery from an acute infection.

The researchers, led by Dr Anne-Marie Force Connolly of the Department of Clinical Microbiology at Ume. University, published the paper in The British Medical Journal (BMJ). The first author of the study is the Greek-born cardiologist Ioannis Katsoularis, PhD candidate in the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine of the Swedish University of Umeα.

Scientists analyzed data for more than five million people, of which about one million were confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus in 2020-21. The analysis found that the risk of deep vein thrombosis remained significantly increased 90 days after Covid-19 infection, for pulmonary embolism after 180 days and for bleeding after 60 days.

Taking various other factors into account, the researchers concluded that 30 days after the initial coronavirus infection, there was a fivefold increased risk of deep vein thrombosis, 33 times the risk of pulmonary embolism and almost twice the risk of bleeding. In absolute terms, a first deep vein thrombosis occurred in every 400 patients with Covid-19 (absolute risk 0.04% versus 0.01% in the control group of healthy people without coronavirus). Respectively, a first pulmonary embolism occurred in every 1,761 patients with Covid-19 (absolute risk 0.17% versus 0.004% of the control group), while a first hemorrhage occurred in approximately 1,000 patients with Covid-19 (absolute risk 0.1 % vs. 0.04% of the control group).

Even among people who took mild Covid-19 without the need for hospitalization, an increased risk of thrombosis in the legs or lungs was subsequently found. The risk of subsequent bleeding was increased only in those who had undergone severe Covid-19.

To view the scientific publication click here

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