A Covid infection increases the risk of getting another illness within a year by about half for over 65s as the virus takes its toll on the body’s defences, a new study suggests.
This found that 32 per cent of older adults infected with Covid developed at least one new condition that required medical attention in the months after their infection.
This compared to 21 per cent of those who did not have Covid, according to the study, published in the BMJ.
Conditions involved a range of major organs and systems, including the heart, kidneys, lungs and liver as well as mental health complications.
Former Covid patients were 7.6 per cent more likely to have respiratory failure within a year, than those who had not had the virus.
They were also 5.7 per cent more likely to suffer fatigue, 4.4 per cent more likely to get high blood pressure and 2.5 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health issue.
“With more than 357 million people infected with coronavirus worldwide, the number of survivors who develop another condition after their infection will continue to grow,” said Ken Cohen, of Optum Labs research organisation in Minnesota.
The term sequelae is used to describe a condition which is the consequence of a previous disease or injury.
“These findings further highlight the wide range of important sequelae after acute infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” Dr Cohen says.
“Understanding the magnitude of risk for the most important clinical sequelae might enhance their diagnosis and the management of individuals with sequelae after acute SARS-CoV-2 infection,” he added.
The study did not look at the impact of under 65’s getting Covid.