CDC Report Reveals Over 3,500 Americans Have Lost Their Lives Because of Long COVID

CDC Report Reveals Over 3,500 Americans Have Lost Their Lives Because of Long COVID
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According to newly released federal data, over 3,500 American citizens have unfortunately passed away from long COVID-related illnesses.
The bleak report was published earlier today by the National Center for Health Statistics and was based on the death certificate data registered between January of 2020 and June of 2022.
More precisely, they focused on a couple of important key terms such as “long haul COVID,” “chronic COVID,” “post COVID syndrome” and “long COVID.”
That being said, the results determined that long COVID was involved in no less than 3,544 deaths, the condition being either listed as a contributing or underlying cause of death.
NCHS health specialist, Farida Ahmad, told ABC News that “This is the first time that we have used death certificate data from the National Vital Statistics System in order to identify the deaths with long COVID. Because this is a brand new analysis and the first time we are looking at long COVID in death certificates, I believe that a lot of the aspects of this report stand out as unique.”
It is important to mention that this number, while not insignificant in the slightest, was still quite low, making for no more than 1 percent of the over 1 million total COVID-19 deaths in the United States in the same time period.
The team also looked into the differences in COVID deaths and long COVID ones between male and female patients for a full year (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022.)
What they found was that in the case of COVID deaths, they occurred among men in 56 percent of cases while long COVID deaths were more evenly split between these two genders with only 51.5 percent of them happening to men.
Not surprisingly, a majority of long COVID deaths, just like in the case of COVID ones, are registered in the elderly age category.
When it comes to race, there were disparities as well, with white Americans making up for 78.5 percent of long COVID deaths, followed by Black Americans (10.1 percent) and Hispanic Americans (7.8 percent.)
As for Native Americans, Asian Americans and other multiracial communities, they made up less than 2 percent of all long COVID deaths per group.
That being said, however, it should be noted that the long COVID death rate was the highest among the American Indian/Alaska Native community (14.8 per 1 million,) followed by white Americans (6.7 per 1 million.)
Even though Hispanic and Black Americans registered higher COVID-19 mortality rates, when it comes to long COVID, the rates were lower at 4.7 per 1 million and 6.4 per 1 million, respectively.
The report does stress that this could be precisely because of the fact that they have higher COVID-19 death rates, which means fewer survivors experiencing long COVID but also less access to health care and diagnosis.
Ahmad hopes that this report is a good first step towards tracking long COVID deaths with more accuracy from now on.
She stated that “We do not use an official classification for long COVID on death certificates so this report is sort of that first step and if we do, it may be easier to track these sort of deaths over time. And if there’s a need for kind of guidance for how death certificates should get filled out, when long COVID is suspected as a cause of death, it may help have more accurate data on the death certificate.”


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Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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