(HealthDay News) — Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with increased risks for death, hospitalization, and sequelae in the acute and postacute phases, according to a study published in Nature Medicine.

Researchers estimated the risks and 6-month burdens of death, hospitalization, and incident sequelae in a cohort of individuals with 1 SARS-CoV-2 infection (443,588 individuals), those with reinfection (40,947 individuals), and noninfected control individuals (5,334,729 individuals).

The researchers found that reinfection was associated with increased risks for death and hospitalization (hazard ratios, 2.17 and 3.32, respectively) and sequelae, including pulmonary, cardiovascular, hematologic, gastrointestinal, kidney, mental health, musculoskeletal, and neurological disorders as well as diabetes. These risks were seen irrespective of vaccination status.

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The most pronounced risks were seen in the acute phase, but they persisted at 6 months in the postacute phase. The cumulative risks and burdens of repeat infection increased according to the number of infections compared with noninfected control individuals.

“Altogether, the findings show that reinfection further increases risks of all-cause mortality and adverse health outcomes in both the acute and postacute phases of reinfection,” the researchers wrote. “The findings highlight the clinical consequences of reinfection and emphasize the importance of preventing reinfection by SARS-CoV-2.”

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