A new report looked at mortality over a 2 ½ year period, and the epidemiology of who was most affected.
In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study published today, the investigators reported that 3544 people’s death certificates cited Long COVID as a cause or contributing factor of death.
The study looked back over the period from January 2020 to June 2022, and the percentage of COVID-19 deaths with Long COVID peaked in June 2021 (1.2%) and in April 2022 (3.8%), according to the investigators.
Overall, in the United States, this accounted for a very small percentage of deaths (0.3%) of the 1,021,487 COVID-19 related deaths.
Investigators looked at deaths using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD–10) cause-of-death code U07.1 and literal text with keywords referring to PASC or long COVID. Data was based on death records received and processed by the National Center for Health Statistics as of October 7, 2022.
Who Was Most Affected?
The Long COVID death rate from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, was highest among adults aged 85 and over, non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people, and males. Non-Hispanic Asian people had the lowest death rate, according to the report.
Here are some specific statistics from the study:
The Toll of Long COVID
In another unrelated report, 3 months after suffering from acute COVID-19 infection, 6.2% of patients had persistent cognitive or respiratory problems or fatigue in 2020 and 2021, a JAMA study found. Specifically, the study found this subset of patients had persistent symptoms, including 3.7% with respiratory problems, 3.2% with persistent fatigue, pain or mood swings, and 2.2% with cognitive problems.
Long COVID continues to perplex clinicians and public health officials in trying to understand why some people continue to experience health issues months after acute COVID-19 infection. Long COVID can be known for a variety of names and in its description, the CDC calls it post-COVID conditions, and offers some insights about the condition including:
Ahmad Farida B, Anderson Robert N, Cisewski,Jodi A, Sutton, Paul D. Identification of deaths With post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 From death certificate literal text: United States, January 1, 2020–June 30, 2022. CDC. https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/121968