The study found that some of the long patterns of Covid related to age, gender, race and ethnicity differed from those seen in deaths caused by the initial infection. For example, while blacks and Hispanics had higher death rates from initial coronavirus infection than non-Hispanic whites, these groups did not have higher death rates from long Covid, according to the study.
The researchers suggested the difference may be partly due to systemic disparities that have resulted in reduced access to health care for black and Hispanic patients, who may not have received appropriate long-Covid diagnoses. The study said it was also possible that because black and Hispanic patients died at higher rates from the initial disease than white patients, they might have “fewer Covid-19 survivors to live with.” long-term conditions”.
Nearly 57% of long Covid-related deaths were in people aged 75 and over. Almost a third of death certificates mentioning Covid at length listed the underlying or primary cause of death as a non-Covid condition such as heart disease, cancer or Alzheimer’s disease.
“This is just scratching the surface – this is a first glimpse,” said David Putrino, director of rehabilitation innovation for Mount Sinai Health System in New York, who was not involved in the survey. study.
He said the study appeared to primarily capture the deaths of people who had a severe initial infection with the coronavirus and survived that phase but then suffered organ damage and other severe complications. He said other deaths linked to the long Covid should be investigated, including suicide deaths of people who had devastating post-Covid symptoms.
Another report released Wednesday, by the Documenting Covid-19 Project, offered a snapshot of long-Covid-related deaths by examining death certificates in 2020 and 2021 in Minnesota, New Mexico and a few other places. This report, conducted by Columbia University’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation and MuckRock, a public records foundation, found that 18 of the 28 deaths associated with long Covid in Minnesota during those years were people from over 80 years old and that most of the patients had worked in blue-collar jobs and did not have a college degree. In New Mexico, about a third of the 13 long Covid-related deaths were in people under the age of 60, and some were frontline or essential workers, the report said.
Experts evaluating the CDC study warned it was both an incomplete picture of long Covid-related mortality and the larger toll of the disease, which was estimated by the Government Accountability Office as having affected 7.7 million to 23 million people in the United States. .
“It’s an important thing to explore and study, but it shouldn’t be used as a proxy for saying, oh, well, long Covid isn’t that bad because look how few deaths there are” , said Dr. Putrino. “We shouldn’t measure the damage that long Covid is doing by deaths alone.”
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