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COVID-19 pandemic linked to a significant increase in cardiovascular fatalities

According to a new American Heart Association research, the number of persons dying from cardiovascular disease in the United States increased dramatically during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the greatest single-year increase since 2015.

Approximately 928,741 people died as a result of heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure in 2020, a significant rise from the 874,613 people who died as a result of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 2019.

COVID-19 Linked To Sharp Increase In Cardiovascular Deaths

According to data published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Circulation, the current figure also surpasses the previous high of 910,000 from 2003.

Dr. Michelle A. Albert, president of the association and a UCSF professor of medicine, said, “COVID-19 has both direct and indirect impacts on cardiovascular health. As we learned, the virus is associated with new clotting and inflammation. We also know that many people who had new or existing heart disease and stroke symptoms were reluctant to seek medical care, particularly in the early days of the pandemic,”

Heart disease was responsible for 41.2% of these deaths in 2020, followed by stroke (17.3%). The data just adds to the mounting evidence of the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans’ health and longevity in the first year.

Earlier data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the rate of heart disease mortality was increasing across all demographic groups by 2020. The deaths seen in 2020 disproportionately impacted Asian, Black, and Hispanic communities, she noted, reflecting the pandemic’s toll.

Because of socioeconomic concerns, bias, and a lack of access to adequate health care, those groups already had poorer cardiac health outcomes. In addition to COVID-19, the research identified other factors that contributed to cardiovascular disease fatalities in 2020.

Read more: COVID-19 booster shot reduces the risk of hospitalization by half

Women Are More Vulnerable

According to a new American Heart Association research, the number of persons dying from cardiovascular disease in the United States increased dramatically during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women were also shown to be more vulnerable to heart disease complications or mortality than men. They were less likely to have operations to treat diseases such as heart attacks and were less likely to be prescribed cholesterol-lowering medicines.

According to Albert, it is critical for women to be educated about heart disease. Women wrongly believe that cancer has a greater danger than heart disease, whereas the opposite is true.

According to Albert, the presentation of a heart attack in women may differ slightly from that of men, and it is critical that women be aware of the full range of possible symptoms.

Individuals living in lower-income regions faced more challenges in accessing life-saving care if they had cardiovascular health concerns, as well as having access to resources that could help avoid these conditions. According to experts, they are seeking to understand why these hazards occur in more disadvantaged communities and to lobby for increased research funding as well as structural and legislative changes.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, and Albert believes that reducing numbers will require addressing both individual and societal issues.

Experts have long warned that common heart problems, such as coronary artery disease, have been conclusively linked to an increased risk of severe COVID-19 sickness and death.

In turn, a COVID infection can have a wide range of effects on the cardiovascular system, from destroying heart tissue to creating blood clots. Several studies have found concerning linkages between the epidemic and worsening risk factors that can cause heart issues.

Read more: Avian flu outbreak: Incredibly concerning farm mink at Spain

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