Scientists from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) conducted research as part of the “Hamburg City Health Study”. 443 non-vaccinated people were screened. According to the UKE, the research began in mid-2020.
The cardiovascular system, lungs, kidneys, and brain were examined for function, structure, and possible subsequent damage, on average ten months after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Study participants did not report any mild or moderate symptoms at the time of infection. 93 percent of them were treated only on an outpatient basis, and none of them required extensive medical care, the UKE reports.
According to the study results, the participants’ total lung volume decreased by an average of three percent compared to the control group, and the filtering capacity of the kidneys decreased by two percent. Cardiac tests showed a decrease in pumping force of 1 to 2%. In addition, the value of cardiac troponin — a protein compound whose high levels indicate heart damage — increased by 14 percent. Patients who survived COVID-19 infection had two to three times more evidence of venous thrombosis in the leg in the past than the comparison group.
The patients’ brains did not show any abnormalities. Furthermore, those affected did not report any deterioration in quality of life.
The researchers explained that the finding that even a mild course of the disease can damage various organs in the medium term is of great importance, especially for the current variant of Omikron, which appears to be associated with milder symptoms in most cases.
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