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Half of Covid patients in hospital left with organ injuries – and young at high risk


HALF of Covid hospital patients suffer organ injuries, according to a new study.

Complications in patients admitted to hospital were high, even in young, previously healthy individuals.

AP

A study of 70,000 UK Covid hospital patients reveals the true extent Covid has on organs[/caption]

Doctors have warned young people are just as at risk of complications, including those that become long-term problems.

The findings revealed that almost one in three (27 per cent) of those aged between 19 and 29 developed problems with their kidneys, lungs or other organs while in hospital.

A further one in four (37 per cent) of people in their 30s and 44 per cent of those in their 40s experienced a complication, according to the study published in the Lancet. 

That’s despite the fact the elderly are the most at risk of severe Covid and death.

Chief investigator and joint senior author of the study, Professor Calum Semple, said: “My personal position and where this would influence my advice on the policy, is the message around Covid being a disease of the frail and the elderly and the young have got nothing to worry about.

“We now realise that paradigm is naive – sure young people will not die from this disease.

“But younger adults will be damaged by this disease and leave a legacy, which for the range of their lives could have a significant impact on what they want to do and how they want to live.”

The study, conducted by researchers at seven UK universities, the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, looked at 70,000 UK adults in total, of which 23,000 (32 per cent) died.

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Overall, complications occurred in 50 per cent of all participants, including in 44 per cent (21,784) of participants who survived.

The most common problem, affecting one in four (24.3 per cent), was kidney injury. 

It was followed by lung complications (18.4 per cent ) and heart complications (12 per cent).

The highest rates were in those over 50 years old, with 51 per cent reporting at least one problem.

Those with complications were nearly twice as likely to die and seven times more likely to need intensive care when compared to people without complications, the study found.

And those who survived struggled after being discharged.

Some 13 per cent of 19 to 29-year-olds and 17 per cent of 30 to 39-year-olds were “unable to look after themselves” once they’d gotten home.

The study looked at cases between January and August of 2020, before the highly effective vaccines started being dolled out.

But the authors said the findings dispell the arguement that there is no risk to younger healthy adults, many of whom remain unvaccinated.

Prof Semple, from the University of Liverpool, said: “This work contradicts current narratives that Covid-19 is only dangerous in people with existing comorbidities and the elderly.

“Disease severity at admission is a predictor of complications even in younger adults, so prevention of complications requires a primary prevention strategy, meaning vaccination.”

The SAGE member told a press briefing: “I was actually really quite surprised. I was expecting the same relationship that we saw with death, in other words that the complications would be those in the frail and the elderly.

“And I was really quite distraught to see that we were talking about young people, previously fit and well, having complications.”

The researchers suggested ministers need to stop thinking about only death figures, and rather the impact severe Covid can have on youngsters.


Dr Thomas Drake, co-author from the University of Edinburgh, said: “Our study shows it is important to consider not just death from Covid-19 but other complications as well.

“This should provide policymakers with data to help them make decisions about tackling the pandemic and planning for the future.

“We are still studying the participants in our study to understand the long-term effects of Covid-19 on their health.”

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