Long Covid played a part in 3,544 deaths in the US from January 2020 till the end of June 2022, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Long Covid deaths represented less than 1 percent of the 1,021,487 deaths for which Covid-19 was the underlying or contributing cause of death in that period, revealed an analysis of death certificates by the CDC.

People with a prior history of severe COVID-19 illness are at increased risk of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) and death.

The CDC defines PASC, commonly called “long Covid”, as long-term symptoms experienced after a person has recovered from acute infection with SARS CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid.

The report also found that the highest number of deaths with long-term COVID-19 occurred in February 2022.

The percentage of all Covid deaths that involved long Covid peaked in June 2021 (1.2 percent) and in April 2022 (3.8 percent).

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Both peaks coincide with periods of declining numbers of Covid-19 deaths.

Men accounted for a slightly larger percentage of long Covid deaths (51.5 percent) than women (48.5 percent). Older adults, aged 75-84 years old accounted for the highest percentage of long Covid deaths (28.8 percent), followed by adults 85 years and older (28.1 percent) and adults 65-74 years old (21.5 percent).

“It’s not one of the leading causes of death, but, considering that this is the first time that we’ve looked at it and that long Covid is an illness that we’re learning more about day after day, the major takeaway is that it is possible for somebody to die and for long Covid to have played a part in their death,” Farida Ahmad, a health scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics at the CDC. who led the study, was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

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While the research raises a significant concern, it should be followed with more definitive work, the researchers said.