Study: COVID pandemic reversed ten years of progress in reducing cardiovascular deaths in US

cardiac rhythm

The COVID-19 pandemic reversed a decade’s worth of progress in reducing mortality from cardiovascular disease in the U.S., new research has found.

The international research team, including Keele University’s Professor Mamas Mamas, studied data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) WONDER database, spanning 21 years between 1999 and 2020.

They wanted to see how cardiovascular mortality rates had changed and study trends in the death rates over that time. They discovered that cardiovascular deaths in 2020 were 4.6% higher than they were in 2019—representing over 62,000 excess deaths.

The highest relative increase was in adults under 55, who had a higher rate of mortality from cardiovascular disease than adults 55–74, and 75 and over.

There were also significant differences between different ethnic groups, with black adults experiencing the largest percentage increase in mortality at 10.6% (15,477 excess deaths) versus a 3.5% increase (42,907 excess deaths) for white adults. Hispanic adults also experienced a 9.4% increase in CV mortality (7,400 excess deaths) versus 4.3% for non-Hispanic adults (56,760 excess deaths).

There were also increases in mortality rates from certain conditions between 2019 and 2020, including ischemic heart disease, hypertensive disease, and cerebrovascular disease. However, deaths from heart failure did decline in the same time.

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