ANYONE who has had Covid-19 has been warned over life-threatening complications that strike months after infection.
Medics are starting to recognise that the virus impacts the whole body and not just the respiratory system.
Researchers at Kings College London said it’s a multi-system condition that can cause disease throughout the body, likely by triggering pathways that cause inflammation.
A new study found that those who had the bug are at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, particularly in the three months following infection.
Variants of Covid that are currently circulating are milder than those before it.
Millions of Brits have now been jabbed against the illness after a mammoth roll out and many others also have some protection from previous infection.
Experts looked at medical records for over 428,000 Covid patients.
Their analysis showed that these patients had an 81 per cent higher chance of being diagnosed with diabetes in the first four weeks after contracting the virus.
This risk then increased by 27 per cent – up to 12 weeks after infection.
The bug was also associated with a six-fold increase in cardiovascular diagnoses overall.
Scientists highlighted that this was mainly down to pulmonary embolisms and irregular heartbeats.
The risk of a new heart disease diagnosis began to decline five weeks after infection.
This then returned to baseline levels or lower within 12 weeks to one year.
Based on the findings, experts said doctors should advise patients recovering from Covid to reduce their risk of diabetes through a healthy diet and exercise.
Lead author Emma Rezel-Potts said national databases have enabled them to detect the risk of various illnesses.
“Whilst it is in the first four weeks that Covid-19 patients are most at risk of these outcomes, the risk of diabetes mellitus remains increased for at least 12 weeks.
“Clinical and public health interventions focusing on reducing diabetes risk among those recovering from Covid-19 over the longer-term may be very beneficial,” she said.
Co-author Ajay Shah said that particular vigilance should be paid to patients in the first three months after infection.
Dr Faye Riley, Research Communications Manager at Diabetes UK said there is mounting evidence that Covid-19 could be triggering new cases of diabetes in some people.
She added that the research tells us more about when and how long-term this risk could be, pointing towards a temporary increased risk of developing diabetes in the immediate weeks after Covid-19 infection.
“While the growing evidence is concerning, it’s still unclear whether Covid-19 is directly causing new cases of diabetes, if it is bringing to light previously undiagnosed cases of diabetes, or if there are other factors in play.
“There’s also still a lot to learn about the types of diabetes that could be triggered by Covid-19.
“It’s important for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, such as unexplained weight loss, feeling thirsty or tired, or going to the toilet more often – whether you’ve had Covid-19 or not.
“It’s also important to understand your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and speak to your healthcare professional if you’re concerned about your risk if you’re recovering from Covid-19,” she said.
To Read Daily News, click here