COVID-19 patients who have vertebral fractures are twice as likely to die from the disease, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Vertebral fractures occur when the bony block in the spine collapses.
While vertebral fractures are typically caused by osteoporosis, such fractures can lead to severe pain and deformity, they are prevalent in Covid-19 patients too — and can influence disease outcomes, the researchers said.
The researchers studied X-rays of 114 Covid-19 patients, and detected thoracic vertebral fractures in 35 per cent. These patients were older and more affected by high blood pressure and heart disease. They were more likely to need ventilators and twice as likely to die compared to those without fractures.
The death rate was higher in patients with severe fractures.
A simple thoracic X-ray can detect these fractures, and the researchers suggested that an evaluation should be performed in Covid-19 patients at the time of hospital admission.
Source: Endocrine Society
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