Coronavirus: Human organs could age 3-4 years faster after COVID infection, study shows

SAN FRANCISCO– After more than two and a half years of COVID research, scientists see the first data points showing dramatic change in human organs after COVID infection.

“You can start thinking about getting COVID almost as an accelerator of aging. Viral infection accelerates the aging process in humans,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, director of the Clinical Epidemiology Center at Washington University in St. Louis and the director of the Research and Education Service of the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System.

dr Al-Aly collected data from millions of people across the country. Their studies of kidney outcomes in long COVID, long brain COVID, and long cardiac COVID showed similar patterns.

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All indicate that several human organs age faster after COVID. The majority affects people who have been hospitalized, but also some with mild COVID symptoms.

“Almost by three to four years in just one year,” said Dr. Al-Aly, adding, “What we’ve seen is that in the year after this infection, people lose about three to four percent of their kidney function, which usually happens with aging.” Three to four years aging.”

We brought these results to Dr. Michael Peluso, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF. His team was one of the first in the country to begin lengthy COVID research in April 2020.

“The Dr. Al-Aly group at the VA in St.Louis has been really important in trying to articulate the problems people experience after contracting COVID. In particular, the effects on the organ system after someone has contracted COVID,” said Dr. Peluso, adding, “Now we’re actually trying to figure out what the biology is behind these long-term effects.”

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dr Peluso said his team has an idea of ​​why some organs might age or be injured post-COVID.

“Some of the theories about what can cause long-term COVID symptoms include persistence of the virus, so instead of the virus coming and going — staying, inflammation, autoimmune issues. Changes in the microbiome. The good bacteria that are in our corpses,” Peluso said.

Although more years of data are required, Dr. Al Aly that this progressive aging process will eventually stop.

“My guess from the data and also my hope that this would really level off at some point, and there are early indications that this may indeed be the case, that the risk or decline in kidney function is really leveling off over time,” said Dr . Ali.


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Russell Falcon

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