Covid-19 Research Update

Gu et al. (Nature) recently published a paper explaining the association between Covid-19 and inflammatory and blood coagulation disorders involving platelets and endothelial cells. This is probably why patients with cardiovascular risk factors such as diabetes, obesity and ageing have been particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.

Malas et al. have published a meta-analysis of 42 studies (8271 patients) looking into the association between thromboembolism (blood clots) and Covid-19. The overall venous thromboembolism rate was 21%, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) rate was 20% and pulmonary embolism rate was 13%. There was a positive correlation between disease severity and risk of blood clotting. The risk of thrombosis can affect any organ in the body. This has led to guidelines recommending the use of anticoagulants for Covid-19 patients, especially when hospitalised.

A Chinese cohort study published in The Lancet followed 1733 patients after they were discharged from hospital. They found that at 6 months after onset of Covid-19 symptoms most patients still had at least one symptom. The most common persisting problems were: fatigue or muscle weakness (63%), sleep difficulties (26%) and anxiety and/or depression (23%). Those that had been more severely ill had a high risk of pulmonary diffusion abnormalities and abnormal chest imaging. Persistent kidney dysfunction, diabetes and blood clotting disorders were also observed.