Thousands of Americans have died from sustained COVID-19, CDC data shows

More than 3,500 Americans have died from long-term illnesses related to COVID, according to new federal data.

The report, released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, analyzed death certificate data from January 2020 through the end of June 2022.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) team searched for several key terms, including “long-term COVID,” “chronic COVID,” and “post-COVID syndrome.”

Results showed that prolonged COVID played a role in 3,544 deaths and was included as an underlying or contributing cause of death.

This means that deaths from sustained COVID accounted for less than 1% of the more than 1 million COVID-19-related deaths during this period.

Long-term COVID occurs when patients who have survived the infection still have symptoms at least four weeks after recovery. In some cases, these symptoms can persist for months or even years.

Patients may experience a variety of persistent symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, headache, confusion, joint and muscle pain, and continued loss of taste and smell, according to the CDC.

It’s not known exactly what causes people to develop COVID long-term, but research continues.

The report found that February 2022 was the month with the highest number of deaths from sustained COVID at 393.

Additionally, the proportion of long-term COVID-related deaths peaked in June 2021 at 1.2% and April 2022 at 3.8%, both coinciding with declines in the number of deaths from COVID-19, according to the report. COVID-19.

The team looked at differences in COVID-19 deaths and long-term COVID deaths between men and women over a 12-month period from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.

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While 56% of COVID-19 deaths occurred among men, long-term COVID-related deaths were split more evenly with 51.5% occurring among men.

Long-term COVID-related deaths were more common among older Americans.

Those aged 75 to 84 accounted for 28.8% of long-term COVID deaths, followed by those aged 85 and over at 28.1%, and those aged 65 to 74 at 21. .5%.

There were also differences when it came to racing. White Americans had the longest-term COVID deaths at 78.5%, followed by African Americans at 10.1% and Latinos at 7.8%.

Comparatively, Asian Americans, Native Americans/Alaska Natives, and other multiracial Americans accounted for less than 2% of long-term COVID deaths by group.

However, the long-term COVID death rate was highest among Native Americans/Alaska Natives at 14.8 per 1 million. Meanwhile, white Americans had the second highest rate at 6.7 per million.

Although African Americans and Latinos traditionally have higher death rates from COVID-19, they have had lower death rates from sustained COVID-19 at 6.4 per 1 million and 4.7 per 1 million, respectively.

According to the report, this may be because Latino and African Americans have higher COVID-19 death rates, meaning fewer survivors suffering from prolonged COVID, as well as fewer diagnoses due to the minor access to care. .


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