What are the long-term health impacts of Long-Covid?

A new report released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics has shown that “Long Covid” is responsible for thousands of deaths. 

Long Covid is known to have long-term health impacts, including ongoing symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, memory problems, chest pains, and insomnia. 

In some cases, it can be fatal, and the report shows it is responsible for at least 3,544 death in the US, with numerous experts believing that the real number could be much higher. 

The report analyzed death certificates in the National Vital Statistics System from January 2020 through the end of June 2022 to find out how many deaths were caused by Long Covid. 

However, the researchers noted that it was harder to track as there was no disease code for Long Covid during that time period. Because of this, their search included various key terms, such as  “chronic Covid,” “long Covid” and “post-COVID syndrome.”

The results show that out of over 1 million Covid-related deaths between January 2020 through June 2022, less than 0.3% were related to Long Covid. 

Of these deaths, 21.5% were adults between 65 and 74, 28.8% were aged 75 and 84, and 28.1% were 85 or older. Men were slightly more likely to be affected, with 51.% being male. 

It was noted that the numbers in this report are provisional, as there are too many limitations to give accurate figures. For example, the definition of Long Covid has changed several times over the course of the pandemic, and there may be some death certificates that don’t list it. 

When commenting on the report, Dr. David Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation for Mount Sinai Health System said that the research may miss some Long-Covid deaths, as some people hospitalized with heart problems or other issues related to a Covid infection wouldn’t have this information listed on their birth certificate. 

He said: “We read every single day about people who have previously been healthy, get Covid, recover and then have a heart attack or stroke or pulmonary embolism. We currently know that suicidal thoughts, suicidal acts, suicidal ideation, and completed suicides are occurring all around the country with folks who were previously healthy, had a less severe acute Covid infection but then went on to develop very severe post-acute sequelae.”

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