A recent study reveals that during the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic, young people were affected mostly by heart attacks.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, heart attack deaths across all age groups have become more common in the U.S., according to a September 2022 study by Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles.
The age group hit the hardest? People between 25 and 44, who saw a 29.9% relative increase in heart attack deaths over the first two years of the pandemic (which means the actual number of heart attack deaths were almost 30% higher than the predicted number).
“Young people are obviously not really supposed to die of heart attack. They’re not really supposed to have heart attacks at all,” Dr. Susan Cheng, a cardiologist at Cedars Sinai and co-author of the study, told TODAY in a segment aired Feb. 9.
Adults between 45 and 64 saw a 19.6% relative increase in heart attack deaths, and those 65 and older saw a 13.7% relative increase, according to a press release from Cedars Sinai. The increase in U.S. heart attack deaths continued through the omicron surge, even though the variant is thought to cause milder illness, and spikes of heart attack deaths have aligned with the timing of COVID-19 surges in the U.S..
In a recent press release discussing the manuscript, Dr. Cheng also explained what COVID-19 can do to a person’s cardiovascular system. She said that the virus increases the likelihood of someone’s body forming blood clots, including a patient experiencing blood vessel inflammation, spikes in blood pressure which, in turn, can cause people devastating amounts of stress. Dr. Cheng was recently interviewed on NBC News:
Another author of the Cedars-Sinai manuscript, Dr. Yee Hui Yeo, said that while researchers are still studying the various ways COVID-19 affects the human body, there are still many unanswered questions as to why there is an increase in cardiovascular deaths in coronavirus patients overall.
Dr. Cho even implied the possibility that COVID-19 may trigger or accelerate the presentation of preexisting coronary artery disease, even in younger adults. This news coming on the heels of the recent deaths of young adults with some positing the COVID-19 vaccine, rather then the virus, as being the cause.
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