Younger adults risk COVID organ damage - study

Younger adults risk COVID organ damage - study

© APA | Paul Godfrey suffered lung damage after contracting Covid aged 31

# 16 July 2021 08:08 (UTC +04:00)

Younger adults admitted to hospital with Covid are almost as likely to suffer from complications as those over 50 years old, a study has found, APA reports citing BBC.

Four in 10 of those between 19 and 49 developed problems with their kidneys, lungs or other organs while treated.

The research looked at 73,197 adults of all ages across 302 UK hospitals in the first wave of Covid in 2020.

"The message is that this is not just a disease of the elderly and frail," said Prof Calum Semple, who led the work.

"The data reinforces the fact that Covid is not flu and we are seeing even young adults coming into hospital suffering significant complications, some of which will require furthering monitoring and potentially further treatment in the future."

The study, conducted by researchers at eight UK universities and the Department of Health and Social Care, looked at the number of "complications" in those hospitalised with Covid-19, defined as an organ-specific medical diagnosis.

Overall, around half of all adult patients suffered a least one complication during their hospital stay. The most common was a kidney injury, followed by lung and heart damage.

The highest rates were in those over 50 years old, with 51% reporting at least one problem. But they were also "very common" in younger age groups. Some 37% of 30 to 39 year olds and 44% of 40 to 49 year olds had at least one complication recorded by nurses and medical students involved in the study.

Doctors are not yet certain how a severe Covid illness can cause organ damage, but it is thought in some cases the body's own immune system can spark an inflammatory response and injure healthy tissue.

Paul Godfrey, from Frinton in Essex, developed Covid in March 2020 after suffering what he thought was a chest infection.

Paul, who was 31 at the time of diagnosis and has the lung condition bronchiectasis, said: "There's no doubt about it - the NHS staff who cared for me saved my life. I would not be here today if it wasn't for them."