London, Apr 7: People infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, have an increased risk of developing serious blood clots for up to six months after the infection, even in mild cases, according to a study published in The BMJ.

The researchers found an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis -- a blood clot in the leg -- up to three months after COVID-19 infection, pulmonary embolism -- a blood clot in the lung -- up to six months, and a bleeding event up to two months.

They also show a higher risk of events in patients with underlying conditions, patients with more severe COVID-19, and during the first pandemic wave compared with the second and third waves.

The researchers from Umea University in Sweden noted that these results support measures to prevent thrombotic events, especially for high risk patients, and strengthen the importance of vaccination against COVID-19.

Using national registries in Sweden, they identified more than one million people with confirmed SARSCoV-2 infection between February 1, 2020 and May 25, 2021, matched by age, sex, and county of residence to more than four million people who had not had a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result.

The researchers first calculated the rates of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and bleeding in COVID-19 individuals during a control period -- before and long after COVID-19 diagnosis -- and compared it to the rates in different time intervals after COVID-19 diagnosis.

They then calculated the rates of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and bleeding 1-30 days after COVID-19 diagnosis in the COVID-19 group and compared them to the corresponding rates in the control group.

The results show that compared with the control period, risks were significantly increased 90 days after COVID-19 for deep vein thrombosis, 180 days for pulmonary embolism, and 60 days for bleeding.

After taking account of a range of potentially influential factors, the researchers found a five-fold increase in risk of deep vein thrombosis, a 33-fold increase in risk of pulmonary embolism, and an almost twofold increase in risk of bleeding in the 30 days after infection.

This means that a first deep vein thrombosis occurred in 401 patients with COVID-19 and 267 control patients, the researchers said.

A first pulmonary embolism event occurred in 1,761 patients with COVID-19 and 171 control patients, and a first bleeding event occurred in 1,002 patients with covid-19 and 1,292 control patients, they said.

The researchers found that the risks were highest in patients with more severe COVID-19 and during the first pandemic wave compared with the second and third waves, which they said could be explained by improvements in treatment and vaccine coverage in older patients after the first wave.

Even among mild, non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients, the researchers found increased risks of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

No increased risk of bleeding was found in mild cases, but a noticeable increase was observed in more severe cases.

This is an observational study, so the researchers cannot establish cause, and they acknowledge several limitations which might have affected their findings.

For example, they said VTE may have been underdiagnosed in patients with COVID-19, testing for the disease was limited, especially during the first pandemic wave, and information on vaccination was not available.

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Bengaluru/Mantralayam (PTI): Senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said party leaders will begin their travel across Karnataka in teams from August 21, as part of preparations in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly polls.

Bengaluru/Mantralayam (PTI): Senior BJP leader B S Yediyurappa on Thursday said party leaders will begin their travel across Karnataka in teams from August 21, as part of preparations in the run-up to the 2023 Assembly polls.

The former Chief Minister reiterated that he will not be contesting any polls here on, but will work with other BJP leaders for the party's victory and installing it in power in the State.

"From 21st (August) we will all begin travelling across the state, we have not yet decided on from where to start and it will be soon decided...in three to four teams headed by various leaders we will travel across the state in all districts," Yediyurappa said.

Speaking to reporters in Mantralayam, a pilgrim village located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, he said the BJP will go to every division and organise large-scale events gathering lakhs of people.

"No doubt, Congress leader Siddaramaiah's 75th birthday event was a huge one, but in a month's time after our events are planned, you will realise what's our strength and what was theirs (Congress')," he added in response to a question whether Siddaramaiah's mega event will cause any setback to the BJP.

Rejecting speculation regarding Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai being replaced, the veteran leader said he doesn't expect any changes to happen at this point in time, when elections are expected in seven to eight months.
"There is no need for it (change) as well, as he (Bommai) is doing a good job, so I expect that he will continue, so there is no truth in this speculation," he said.

Responding to Congress' criticism against BJP, accusing it of forcefully removing him as CM and neglecting him, Yediyurappa reiterated that he voluntarily resigned (as CM) to make way for others, and no one forced him to do so.
"The talk that I'm being neglected in the BJP is not right, the position and respect that the party has given me cannot be compared with, I was made CM four times, I was given all sorts of responsibilities. I have faced no injustice from the party in any kind. It is my duty to pay back as a worker and will do it," he said.

Stating that during his meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah last week in Bengaluru, they discussed political developments in the state, Yediyurappa said he has assured him about working along with other leaders towards bringing BJP back to power in the state.
Reiterating that he will not contest in Assembly or any other elections hereon, the senior BJP leader said he will continue to remain in politics and work day and night for the party's victory.

"I have already said if the central leadership agrees, Vijayendra (son) will contest from Shikaripura (his Assembly constituency). If the party's central leadership agrees he will contest and win," he said.