Health Even Mild Cases of COVID Can Increase the Risk of Blood Clots for 3 to 6 Months, Large Study Finds

22:21  07 april  2022
22:21  07 april  2022 Source:   people.com

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People infected with COVID-19 — even in mild cases — are at a higher risk of developing blood clots in the three to six months after their illness, a large study found.

The risk was much higher in people who had severe cases of COVID-19, the researchers, from Sweden, found. In people who were seriously ill, their chance of developing a blood clot was 290 times higher than normal. That risk went up in people with mild cases as well, at 7 times higher.

For the study, published in the journal BMJ, researchers tracked more than 1 million people who tested positive for COVID-19 between Feb. 2020 and May 2021, and compared them to 4 million people of the same demographics who hadn't gotten the virus.

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In people who had COVID-19, they had an increased risk of blood clots in the legs for up to three months, blood clots in the lungs for up to six months, and internal bleeding, such as a stroke, for up to two months.

Blood clots in the lungs were more common, with about 17 in every 10,000 COVID-19 patients developing them, compared to fewer than 1 in 10,000 people who did not have the virus.

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The researchers said that the risk of clots was higher in people who had the earlier versions of COVID-19 in the first few waves, which they ascribed to medical staff gaining a better understanding of how to treat the virus and more people getting vaccinated.

"For unvaccinated individuals, that's a really good reason to get a vaccine — the risk is so much higher than the risk from vaccines," Anne-Marie Fors Connolly, principal study investigator from Umea University in Sweden, told BBC News.

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And another recent study has backed up Connolly's statement that getting vaccinated not only lowers the risk of getting COVID-19 and potentially developing a life-threatening blood clot, but is also far less likely to cause a blood clot.

That vaccines can cause blood clots became a talking point among anti-vaccine protestors, but the risk is extremely low. A study published in JAMA Network Open in March found that the risk of developing a blood clot is 28 to 32 times higher in people who contracted COVID-19 than those who had been vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna's formulations.

More than 550 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines that have been administered in the U.S. so far, and the Centers for Disease Control say that there has been no evidence that either causes blood clots.

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