6.5% Covid patients died within a year of hospital discharge: ICMR study

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6.5% Covid patients died within a year of hospital discharge: ICMR study

Delhi, 22 Aug (CNI): A recent research published under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) found that 6.5 per cent of patients who experience post-coronavirus conditions died within a year of their hospital discharge.

People experiencing post-Covid conditions after being discharged from the hospital were nearly three times more likely to die during the following year compared to those who did not report these symptoms, according to a recently published study from a network of hospitals under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Of those admitted to hospital with moderate to severe Covid-19 infection, 6.5% died at the end of the one-year follow-up period, it found.

The findings are based on data from 14,419 patients across 31 hospitals who were followed up over the phone for a year.

The study reported that 17.1% of those hospitalised since September 2020 experience post-Covid conditions. The study did not follow the WHO or US CDC definitions of “long-Covid”, which came after the study had already started enrolling patients, but defined it as persistent or new onset of fatigue, breathlessness, or cognitive abnormalities such as difficulties in remembering or concentrating and brain fog. The participants were said to have post-Covid conditions only if they reported these symptoms during the first follow-up after discharge at four weeks.

The study shows that the risk of death in the year after discharge from the hospital was higher among men; those above the age of 60; and those with comorbid conditions. It demonstrated the role of even a single vaccine when it comes to long-term mortality — it found that those who received at least one dose of the vaccine were at a 40% reduced risk of death between the first follow-up at four weeks.

“This study relates to mortality in those hospitalised with moderate to severe Covid-19,” a senior scientist formerly associated with ICMR said. “This 6.5% mortality rate will not be applicable to those who had, or at present have, a simple upper respiratory infection and are ambulatory (able to walk). These findings cannot be extrapolated to mild cases that are not being reported.”

The scientist said, “It is also important to note that higher mortality — even after recovering from Covid-19 — was seen in comorbid people. This means people with conditions such as liver cirrhosis and chronic kidney disease should take care because they are likely to get complicated Covid-19 and post-Covid symptoms…”

The study says various hypotheses have been considered to explain deaths reported in the year following Covid-19. These deaths could have been due to factors including “prolonged inflammation, organ damage due to the virus, endothelial (lining of the inner layer of lungs) dysfunction”.

With new variants being reported, the PM’s Principal Secretary P K Mishra Monday chaired a high-level Covid-19 review meeting. The EG.5 variant has been found in over 50 countries. Another variant — BA.2.86 — has been reported in four countries, Union Health Secretary Sudhanshu Pant said at the meeting. He said public health systems should remain geared up and asked states to monitor trends of cases of influenza-like illnesses.

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