A woman receives a dose of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine during the coronavirus pandemic at a sports stadium in Vina del Mar, Chile, April 22, 2021.
Rodrigo Garrido | Reuters
Long Covid is more common in women than men, according to federal data.
According to data from the US Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics released this month, more than 17% of women have had long-Covid at some point during the pandemic, compared to 11% of men.
Long Covid was defined as the appearance of symptoms for three months or more after infection. The latest data was collected through an online survey of more than 41,000 adults in the two weeks ended October 17.
Women were also more likely to suffer from more severe long Covid, according to the survey. According to the data, around 2.4% of all women experienced symptoms that significantly limited their normal activities, compared to 1.3% of men.
Overall, more than 14% of US adults had long-Covid at some point during the pandemic, the survey found. Seven percent of adults in the US currently have long-term Covid, according to the data.
If these numbers were true for the general population, 36 million adults could be long ill with Covid at some point during the pandemic, while 18 million could be struggling with it currently.
According to the data, about 2% of US adults have suffered from more severe long-term Covid symptoms that have severely restricted their daily activities. That would equate to more than 5 million people in the general adult US population.
The Brookings Institution, in a separate analysis, found as many as 4 million people in the US are unable to work due to long-term Covid.
CNBC Health & Science
Read CNBC’s latest global health coverage:
- Long Covid affects women more than men, federal survey finds
- Omicron subvariants resistant to key antibody treatments are increasing every week in the US
- The FDA says two studies showing Omicron boosters weren’t much better than old Covid shots were too small to draw any conclusions
- New Covid boosters are no better than old attempts to neutralize Omicron BA.5, early studies show
- Omicron subvariants are resistant to key antibody treatments, putting those with compromised immune systems at risk of Covid
- dr Jha: A ‘triple disease’ will hit the US, but ‘we are not powerless’
- The types of Covid symptoms you get depend on the vaccines you’ve received, new data says
- People who had mild Covid were at increased risk of blood clots, a British study shows
- How worried should you be about Covid-19’s ‘Scrabble’ variants? Here’s what we know so far
- Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito told Ted Kennedy the legal basis for ensuring abortion rights was a 2005 “scrubbed” law, a new book reveals
- Ivermectin – a drug once touted by conservatives as a Covid treatment – does not significantly improve recovery, clinical studies show
- It’s time to stop saying ‘fully vaccinated’ for Covid, experts say – here’s why
- Millions of people risk losing health insurance when the US ends the Covid public health emergency in January
- FDA panel recommends revoking approval of controversial drug used to prevent preterm birth
- People of color are at higher risk of flu hospitalization as the US may face a tough season, according to the CDC
- White House Covid tsar urges seniors to get Omicron booster now
Long Covid exhibits a wide spectrum of symptoms, ranging from mild to debilitating, affecting multiple organ systems. The most commonly reported symptoms include poor memory or brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The JAMA study also found that long Covid was more common in women. Almost 18% of Covid survivors who had symptoms for more than two months were women, while 10% were men.
The dominant Covid variant and vaccination status may also play a role in how likely people are to have long-term illnesses from Covid.
According to the JAMA study, nearly 60% of people who had long had Covid were infected with the original strain of the virus that emerged in China, while more than 17% infected the Delta variant and more than 10% had Omicron.
The study found that 87% of those who had long had Covid were unvaccinated.
“There may be differences between these strains and how likely they are to cause long covid, which could teach us something about why this is happening,” said Dr. Roy Perlis, the study’s lead author and co-director of the Center for Quantitative Health at Massachusetts General Hospital.
The JAMA study, released last week, looked at more than 16,000 adults who tested positive for Covid. Data was collected from February 2021 to July 2022 from a national online survey called the Covid States Project, conducted every six weeks.
Scientists don’t yet understand the underlying cause of Long Covid, although there’s a growing consensus that it’s likely multiple different conditions and not a single disease. The National Institutes of Health are enrolling a massive study called Recover to pinpoint the different types of long-term Covid, identify risk factors, and develop tests and treatments.