Blood clot risk remains high nearly a year after COVID-19

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In a study from the University of Bristol, scientists found people who got COVID-19 had a higher risk of dangerous blood clots close to a year later.

They examined the aftereffects of a SARS-CoV-2 infection during the period before vaccines became available.

As seen in previous studies, COVID-19 was linked to a sharply increased risk of blood clot-related issues – including heart attack and stroke – immediately after diagnosis compared to people who never had COVID-19.

But the current study found that risk remained higher for some problems up to 49 weeks later.

At that point, the risk of deep vein thrombosis – clots that form in large veins – was nearly double in people who’d had COVID-19 compared to those who had not.

In the study, the team used data collected anonymously from 48 million people – nearly every adult in England and Wales – in Great Britain’s National Health System from January 2020 until the day before COVID-19 vaccines were made available that December.

The study looked at results from 1.4 million diagnoses of COVID-19, which led to an estimated 10,500 additional cases of clot-related problems.

The researchers found that the first week after a COVID-19 diagnosis, the risk of an arterial blood clot – the kind that could cause a heart attack or stroke by blocking blood flow to the heart or brain – was nearly 22 times higher than in someone without COVID-19.

That risk dropped sharply, to less than four times higher, in the second week. By the third and fourth weeks after diagnosis, the risk was still about eight times higher.

And between 27 and 49 weeks later, the risk was still 1.8 times higher than in somebody who had never had COVID-19.

The team also found the increased risks persisted no matter whether someone was hospitalized for COVID-19, although risks were greater in people who were hospitalized.

The study also showed that clot risks were higher in Black and Asian people.

The findings reinforce the message that for people who have cardiovascular conditions.

The team says taking established preventative medications and managing your risk factors are even more important now than it was before the pandemic.

If you care about COVID, please read studies about why COVID-19 is severe in some people and mild in others, and this face mask can capture and deactivate COVID-19 virus.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about whether monkeypox is the next COVID-19, and results showing scientists find a universal antibody therapy to fight all COVID-19 variants.

The study was conducted by Jonathan Sterne et al and published in Circulation.

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