Unvaccinated COVID patients have a higher risk of death and cardiovascular disease for at least 18 months after infection, according to new research.
The findings are the result of a study of more than 160,000 people conducted during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, before any vaccines were available.
Those infected between March and November 2020 were found to be up to 81 times more likely to die within the first three weeks.
A year and a half later, they were still up to five times more likely to die than uninfected people.
Patients were also at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease up to 18 months after infection, which the researchers believe is part of long COVID.
Coronary heart disease, heart failure, and deep vein thrombosis were all included.
According to the researchers, COVID patients should be monitored for at least a year after recovery.