A new study suggests that people who do not have an autoimmune disease may be more likely to develop at least one within months after the infection subsides after being infected with the new coronavirus.
viral infection is cause autoimmune diseasewhen the immune system launches an attack against the body.
A large study, now published as a preprint on the server medRxiv in late January, specifically Risk of autoimmune diseases associated with COVID-19A preprint that has not yet been peer-reviewed examined 40 autoimmune results representing 30 different diseases.
A German-based study found that people without autoimmune diseases were about 43% more likely to develop one of the 30 autoimmune diseases after being infected with COVID-19.
Studies show that people who already have autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are less likely to develop new autoimmune diseases after being infected with COVID-19, but they remain highly likely. Become. This risk was found to be 23% higher for him than for people without COVID-19.
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The researchers believe it is the largest cohort study to date examining the link between COVID-19 infection and autoimmune disease.
Health records of 614,407 people with COVID-19 confirmed by PCR testing during the early pandemic up to December 31, 2020 were examined and compared with more than 1.5 million people who were not infected with the virus. These individuals were then traced to his date of June 30, 2021.
Patients with the most common autoimmune disease in this study developed
A study found that among people infected with COVID-19, 6,489 without autoimmune disease developed an autoimmune disease within 3 to 15 months after infection.
The period following COVID-19 infection is the post-acute phase, also commonly referred to as long-term COVID. The study defined post-acute phase as three months after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, which is consistent with the World Health Organization definition.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Defining the post-COVID state As a health problem that appears at least 4 weeks after infection.
In contrast, among study participants who already had an autoimmune disease and were infected with COVID-19, 1,744 developed new disease after infection.
The risk of autoimmune disease is higher when an antecedent COVID-19 infection is considered severe, the study authors said.
The study found that the most common autoimmune disease that developed after the virus in study participants was associated with vasculitis, an inflammation of the blood vessels.
As for autoimmune diseases in general, studies have shown that people at the highest risk of developing an autoimmune disease after COVID-19 were:
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Sjögren’s disease
• Basedow’s disease
Other autoimmune diseases that developed in study participants included psoriasis, type 1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, alopecia and vitiligo.
The findings are consistent with previous evidence about how viral infections are linked to the development of autoimmune diseases, according to the researchers.
A large study sample of hundreds of thousands of health record studies and a follow-up period of 3 to 15 months were noted as major strengths of this study.
“The impact of this research is huge. Risk of COVID-19 and autoimmune diseasesAnuradha Subramanian, a research fellow in health informatics at the University of Birmingham, UK, told Live Science. She was not involved in the study.
The authors emphasize that because this study is an observational study, it does not show a direct causation between COVID-19 infection and risk of autoimmune disease.
In addition, the researchers noted that vaccination status was not taken into account because it could not be “validated with German claims data.”
This study advances our understanding of persistent health problems after being infected with COVID-19. According to the CDC, her long-term COVID condition can cause respiratory and cardiac symptoms, neurological symptoms such as brain fog, and gastrointestinal symptoms.