UK: Excess cardiovascular deaths during pandemic revealed


A new study reveals the number of excess cardiovascular deaths during the first peak of the pandemic in England and Wales.
New research looks at the number of excess deaths caused by cardiovascular disease in England and Wales during the first peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom.
The results suggest a significant number of people did not go to hospital despite experiencing acute cardiovascular events, such as a stroke or a heart attack.
The research also provides information for governments on communicating with the public during a pandemic.
This study is the first to give a detailed and comprehensive picture of what was happening to people who were acutely ill with cardiovascular disease across England and Wales. It reveals a large number of excess deaths. The findings will help [the] Government and the NHS [National Health Service] develop messages that ensure people who are very ill seek help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cardiovascular diseases ó a collective name for conditions that primarily affect the heart or blood vessels ó are the number one cause of disability and death worldwide.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has become clear that cardiovascular diseases are a key underlying condition associated with an increased likelihood of death after contracting Covid-19.
At the same time, previous research has found a significant decrease in the number of people attending hospital following an acute cardiovascular event during the pandemic.
Therefore, it seems likely there would be an increase of deaths associated with cardiovascular disease beyond the expected figures, unless for some reason cardiovascular events reduced during the pandemic.
To understand the effects of this reduction in hospital admissions of people with cardiovascular disease, the present study authors compared information on cardiovascular mortality in England and Wales from the years before the pandemic with data collected during the pandemic.
They sourced this information from death certificates, which are filled in by the last doctor to attend a person within 5 days of their final illness, and record the location and cause of death.
From January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2020, there were death certificates for 3,450,381 people in England and Wales. Of these deaths, 17% were related to cardiovascular diseases.
From the first recorded COVID-19 death in the U.K. on March 2, 2020 until June 30, 2020, there were 28,969 recorded cardiovascular deaths.