COVID-19 leaving people more vulnerable to other diseases: FT
3D rendering of the coronavirus. /CFP

3D rendering of the coronavirus. /CFP

COVID-19 has left people more vulnerable to a variety of other diseases, creating an epidemiological aftershock that threatens a global health system already struggling with inadequate resources and aging populations, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Tuesday.

Deaths due to heart disease have risen significantly in all but "the very oldest age groups" since the start of the pandemic, the report said, citing data from the UK's National Health Service.

"In the 40-64 age group, heart attack deaths increased 15 percent in 2021 compared with 2019," the report said.

Meanwhile, "even some people who had not been seriously ill with COVID had an increased risk of cardiovascular problems for at least a year afterwards," it added, according to a February analysis of over 150,000 records from databases at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA).

"Rates of many conditions, such as heart failure and stroke, were substantially higher in people who had recovered from Covid than in similar people who had not been infected," the FT said.

"What's particularly alarming is  that these are really life-long conditions," Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of research and development at the VA St Louis Health Care System, was quoted as saying by the FT.

"Will it be sufficient to elevate the burden of chronic disease and subsequently put an additional strain on healthcare systems? We think the answer is yes," he added.

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