Dr. Molly Jacobs addresses long COVID outcome inequities during meeting with federal health offices and agencies

Molly M. Jacobs, MS, PHD
Associate Professor

Associate Professor Molly Jacobs, MS, PhD, recently spoke as an invited guest during part of the Data & Surveillance Work Group Long COVID Coordination Council’s meeting.

Dr. Molly Jacobs, Associate Professor for the Department of Health Services Research, Management and Policy, expounded on her experience researching long COVID outcome inequities during a meeting with the Data & Surveillance Work Group Long COVID Coordination Council. The group consists of 30 to 40 members from various federal offices and agencies and is based out of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH).

Jacobs was invited to speak after the council read her paper, “Racial, ethnic, and sex disparities in the incidence and cognitive symptomology of long COVID-19“, published in the Journal of the National Medical Association.

In her study, Jacobs concluded that long COVID is more prevalent among Blacks, Hispanics, and females, but each group appears to experience long COVID differently.

Long COVID, an ambiguous yet prevalent health issue described as signs, symptoms, and conditions which continue or develop after an initial COVID-19 infection, was added as a recognized condition by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2021. Data has revealed that long COVID can be more prevalent among certain populations, including those in racial or ethnic minority groups due to significant health inequities.

Based on her experience with long COVID data and analysis, Jacobs made recommendations for the future of long COVID surveillance by federal agencies.

Groups such as OASH Data & Surveillance Work Group Long COVID Coordination Council exist to revise and recommend changes to the methods by which the federal government surveys, documents and captures long COVID-19 data within the American population. Research is ongoing to better understand this poorly mistreated condition.