NCRC tracked Covid-19 patients by telephone till a year after discharge. The NCRC collected data from September 2020 to February 2023.(Representational Image/DC)
Hyderabad: A study by the National Clinical Registry for Covid-19 (NCRC) found that 6.5 per cent of patients discharged after Covid-19 treatment died of Covid-related conditions within the year. The toll was much higher among younger patients, with more men than women succumbing.
The NCRC, a unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research, evaluated the factors related to one-year post-discharge mortality. It tracked Covid-19 patients by telephone till a year after discharge. The NCRC collected data from September 2020 to February 2023.
The major cause of death was post-Covid conditions (PCC), such as coagulation abnormalities, causing cardiac arrest, apart from fatigue and joint pains.
Dr Shiva Raju K., head of medicine department, KIMS Hospital, told Deccan Chronicle: "The first reason for fatalities is post-Covid heart issues. The other major post-Covid complications could be lung fibrosis, respiratory failure due to lung damage, kidney failure, thromboembolism, as well as fungal infections like mucormycosis. There may be cases of complete kidney and lung failures resulting in death."
Of 14,419 patients that the NCRC tracked, 942 died within a year of discharge, accounting for 6.5 per cent, including 325 women and 616 men. Of them, 175 fatalities (18.6 per cent) were in the 18-45 age group. The median duration of death post-discharge was 28 days.
The study found a higher chance of death within one year after discharge in males above 40 years, with a history of moderate to severe Covid-19 disease and the presence of comorbidities, and a similar trend was seen in the participants in the age group of 18-45 years of age.
The study revealed that the participants younger than 18 years had 1.7 times higher odds of dying within a year after discharge. In addition, 113 (1.4 per cent) participants died at any time within the year.
At least one dose of vaccination before Covid-19 infection had provided 60 per cent protection against post-discharge mortality, the study said. The vaccination’s effectiveness to prevent mortality after the first shot reduced after 168-185 days, but remained effective up to 86 per cent.
Why were there more male victims than female? Dr Anish Anand, consultant, internal medicine, at a leading hospital, said that it could be due to genetic predisposition.