Heart-related deaths rose sharply during first year of COVID-19 pandemic, report shows
The annual pace of Americans dying from cardiovascular-related causes accelerated during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic to the worst it has been since 2015, according to final figures gathered this month by the American Heart Association.
In 2020, 928,741 deaths in the U.S. were blamed on cardiovascular issues, like heart disease and stroke. The age-adjusted rate of deaths also increased that year for the first time in a decade.
"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," Dr. Michelle Albert, the association's vice president, said in a news release announcing the annual publication compiled by the association and the National Institutes of Health.
Heart disease again made up the largest share of these deaths in 2020, at 41.2%, followed by stroke at 17.3%.
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