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Study finds elevated risk of Rheumatic disease for up to one year following Covid infection

New study reveals Covid-19 infection is linked to an increased risk of autoimmune diseases for up to a year, even with vaccination, highlighting potential long-term health concerns.

Written By : India TV Health Desk Edited By : Rahul Pratyush
New Delhi
Published on: March 05, 2024 19:00 IST
rheumatic disease
Image Source : GOOGLE Covid boosts rheumatic disease risk up to one year

A recent global study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, reveals a concerning trend: individuals who have experienced a Covid-19 infection may face an elevated risk of developing autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases (AIRDs) for up to a year afterwards. The research, conducted by teams from South Korea, Spain, the US, and the UK, underscores that this risk persists even among those who have been vaccinated.

To delve deeper into the long-term effects of Covid-19 on AIRD risk, researchers from Kyung Hee University in Seoul conducted a comprehensive study involving more than 10 million Korean and 12 million Japanese adults. They analysed data from January 2020 to December 2021, matching individuals with Covid-19 to those with influenza and uninfected control subjects. The data was then assessed for the onset of AIRD at 1, 6, and 12 months following Covid-19 or influenza infection.

The results of the study revealed a notable increase in the risk of AIRD up to 12 months post-Covid-19 infection, with the risk escalating in line with the severity of the initial Covid-19 illness.

The researchers emphasised that SARS-CoV-2 infection was linked to a heightened risk of AIRD compared to matched patients without Covid-19 or those with influenza infection. Furthermore, the risk of AIRD was found to be higher in individuals who experienced more severe acute Covid-19 symptoms. “SARS-CoV-2 infection was associated with increased risk for AIRD compared with matched patients without SARS-CoV-2 infection or with influenza infection. The risk for AIRD was higher with greater severity of acute Covid-19,” the researchers wrote in the paper.

While vaccination against Covid-19 was shown to reduce the risk of AIRD, individuals who had severe Covid-19 despite being vaccinated still faced a heightened risk of developing AIRD.

These findings underscore the importance of continued research into the long-term health implications of Covid-19, particularly regarding its potential to trigger autoimmune inflammatory conditions and highlight the significance of vaccination in mitigating these risks.

(with IANS inputs)

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