A study published in The Lancet this month has added to the growing body of COVID health concerns after showing that half of all hospitalised patients will be diagnosed with at least one complication.
For the study, researchers gathered information on 73,197 hospitalised coronavirus patients in the UK between January 17th and August 4th 2020 and analysed how many of these patients were diagnosed with a COVID complication. Findings concluded that 49.7% of patients had developed issues with organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys due to COVID-19 - That’s basically half of all hospitalised patients. Additionally, 31.5% of those involved in the study later died from the virus.
The data gathered for the study were also from patients that mainly were male (56%) and white (73.5%), had an average age of 71, and many were also likely to have at least one underlying condition (81%); all of which could affect the likelihood of developing coronavirus complications.
What COVID complications were most common?
Results showed renal failure, otherwise known as kidney failure, to be the most common coronavirus complication among those involved in the study, with 24.3% of hospitalised COVID patients developing the issue. Complex respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and a collapsed lung were also common, affecting 16.3% of patients. Cardiovascular problems like blood clots came in third at 12.% of people. Meanwhile, neurological issues and gastrointestinal issues were among the least common COVID complications, coming in at 4.3% and 10.8%, respectively.
Who is most likely to develop a COVID complication?
COVID complications don’t discriminate and can occur in just about anyone who develops the virus. However, some people are much more likely to develop complications than others. The study showed that those who developed a more severe coronavirus infection were at a higher risk, with 82.4% of COVID critical care patients and 91.7% of those who required medical ventilation all suffered from at least one complication.
The study also found that those who were elderly, male and had underlying health conditions were also more likely to develop complications once hospitalised with the virus. People between the ages of 60-69 who had two underlying health issues were the most likely in the study to suffer, with 59% being diagnosed with at least one complication.
On the other side of the spectrum, hospitalised patients between 19 and 29 who had no underlying issues still weren’t off the hook, with 21.2% of them developing at least one complication.
Additionally, those who had underlying health conditions that affected a particular organ were also more likely to develop coronavirus complications in said organ. For example, those with chronic kidney disease had a 39.8% chance of developing kidney failure, whereas those with otherwise healthy kidneys had a 21.6% chance. Similarly, patients that already had moderate-to-severe liver disease were more likely to develop liver injury than those who did not, with results showing 22.5% and 6.2%, respectively.
While researchers are discovering what kind of COVID complications we can expect to see and who is most likely to suffer from them, they still don’t know precisely how these medical events are connected. The best move we can make so far to prevent these hospitalisations and COVID complications from occurring is to opt for our coronavirus vaccines. Jabs such as those by Moderna and Pfizer help keep cases of hospitalisations and COVID related deaths down, reducing the risks of developing any dangerous complications.