Data shows long COVID hitting women more than men

Researchers just now starting to get an idea of who is more likely to suffer from long COVID

An analysis from FAIR Health and Morning Consult shows there is a wide gender divide when it comes to suffering from long COVID, with women and girls making up 60% of privately insured patients. COVID researchers don’t understand why this gender dynamic exists.

The data doesn’t reflect the racial or ethnic breakdown of long COVID cases, but lawmakers, patient advocates, and clinicians are concerned that people of color could be disproportionately affected by the condition.

The Biden administration has taken note, releasing a governmentwide action plan for long COVID that includes efforts to account for its impact on hard-hit and high-risk populations.

Yet without official data, there are still more questions than answers on why certain groups are being hit with long COVID. The FAIR Health analysis highlights that doctors and researchers are only beginning to scrape the surface in measuring the toll long COVID is taking on Americans.

An estimated 23 million Americans have been marked by long COVID, a nebulous illness with a wide range of symptoms that can linger for months, or even years, after someone first gets COVID-19. And new, exclusive data shows that while some patients are affected more than others, the condition is taking a toll across ages and genders.

Among the privately insured, nearly 35% of long COVID patients are between the ages of 36 and 50, and about 32% are ages 51-64, the claims data shows. Notably, about 1 in 10 privately insured long COVID patients are under 23 years old.