The groups most likely to suffer from Long COVID

·4-min read
Women were more likely than men to suffer from long COVID. (PA)
Women were more likely than men to suffer from long COVID. (PA)

Women, the middle aged and people living in deprived areas are among the groups most likely to report suffering from long COVID, new data revealed today.

In a study released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) they estimated around 1.49% of people living in private households in England had suffered from a form of long COVID in the month ending on 6 June - the latest data available.

Within the 1.49% figure, there were large variations along class, ethnicity, age and gender lines.

Watch: What is long COVID?

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The data revealed an estimated 385,000 people in private households in the UK have experienced long COVID lasting for at least a year, up from 376,000 a month ago.

The figures also suggest 962,000 people in the UK were experiencing long COVID in the four weeks to 6 June, defined as symptoms persisting for more than four weeks after their first suspected coronavirus infection.

The ONS estimated that long COVID was negatively affecting the ability of 634,000 people - around two-thirds of those with self-reported long COVID - to carry out daily activities.

People from the most deprived areas were more likely to suffer from long COVID. (PA)
People from the most deprived areas were more likely to suffer from long COVID. (PA)

Of these, 178,000 said their ability to undertake day-to-day activities had been "limited a lot".

Fatigue was the most common symptom affecting people with long COVID (535,000 people), followed by shortness of breath (397,000), muscle ache (309,000) and difficulty concentrating (295,000).

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Long COVID can last anywhere from a few weeks to years, with some still suffering from when they first caught it at the start of the pandemic.

Gender

The ONS found 1.73% of women were currently suffering from long COVID compared to 1.24% of men with the national average being 1.49%.

Age

Broken down by age groups, the youngest in society were the least likely to have long COVID but numbers began creeping up around the 17-24 age group with 1.21% of them suffering from long COVID.

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There was a sharp jump between people aged between 25-34 (1.55%) and people aged between 35-49 (2.12%) - with 50-69 year olds the most likely to suffer from long COVID at 2.19%. 

People aged over 70 were less likely to suffer from long COVID at 1.06%.

Class

People from the most deprived areas were significantly more likely to suffer from long COIVD when compared to people from richer areas.

Some 1.98% of people from the most deprived backgrounds were estimated to have long COVID, compared to just 1.22% for the least deprived.

Occupation

The figures for people with long COVID varied wildly when broken down by occupation.

As might be expected, people working in healthcare were the most likely to suffer from long COVID at 3%, more than twice the national average of 1.49%.

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Social care was second at 2.88% and civil servants were third at 2.08% followed by transport (2.06%) and retail (2.02%).

The least likely group to suffer from long COVID were people working in information technology at 1.24%.

Disability

The study found disability played a large role in the likelihood of having long COVID.

Only 1.2% of people with no health conditions suffered from long COVID.

But, people who suffered from a health condition that limited their activity a lot had the highest figure in the whole study at 3.84%.

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