Women, people with high cholesterol have higher risk for long COVID, according to 23andMe

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A new study by 23andMe Holding Co. found that people who have previously reported depression or anxiety or cardiometabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of being diagnosed with long-term COVID.

Here is a snapshot of the study, which the company posted on its website last week.

  • Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with long-term COVID.

  • People who had depression or anxiety before testing positive for COVID-19 have a higher risk of a long diagnosis of COVID.

  • People with conditions such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol have a 90% higher risk of being diagnosed with long-term COVID.

Of the 100,000 people who provided self-reported data to 23andMe ME,
about 26,000 reported experiencing symptoms of long-term COVID, and about 7,000 had been formally diagnosed. (The company noted, however, that the data is not representative of the U.S. population).

The study is part of a wave of new research that aims to provide details about long COVID, the somewhat mysterious constellation of symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath that may follow a COVID-19 infection.

Officially known as the post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection, long-term COVID is thought to affect about 24 million people in the United States, according to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Separately, there are new data from the UK that found that two million people there have experienced long-term symptoms of COVID, according to The Guardian. About 826,000 of these people first reported COVID-19 infection at least a year ago, while about 376,000 said their infection occurred at least two years ago.

Other news about COVID-19 to know:

  • Restrictions on Shanghai’s COVID-19 eased at midnight yesterday, allowing people to move around the city again, according to the BBC. However, residents who use public transportation or want to go to banks or malls must show a negative PCR test and people leaving Shanghai must be quarantined upon return.

  • The failure of powder oximeters to accurately read oxygen levels in black and Hispanic patients delayed COVID-19 treatments such as Gilead Sciences Inc.’s GILD.
    Veklury and dexamethasone in some of these patients, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine. “It’s a systematic failure,” one of the study’s co-authors told Stat News.

Here’s what the numbers say:

The seven-day average of new cases in the U.S. fell to 98,688 on Tuesday, down 2% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. Twenty states have seen declines in the past two weeks, led by a 63% drop in new infections in Connecticut. Arizona, however, leads the states with an increase in cases; the state reported a 109% increase in cases over the past two weeks.

The daily average of hospitalizations was 26,512 on Tuesday, 16% more than two weeks ago. The daily average death toll fell to 298, 6% less than two weeks ago, and the lowest daily average since July 27, 2021.

– Tomi Kilgore

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