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COVID-19 Linked to Increased Risk of Long-Term Cardiovascular Disease

Research has found that people infected with COVID-19 are at an increased risk of long-term heart disease and other complications. Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke, heart failure and hypertension, is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Experts have warned that common heart conditions, like coronary artery disease, can raise a person’s risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death.

The Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2023 Update of the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, found that the number of CVD deaths in 2020 increased from 874,613 CVD-related deaths recorded in 2019 to 928,741 in 2020, the largest single-year increase since 2015 and the highest amount ever recorded in 2003.

Heart disease deaths among Asian, Black and Hispanic people have seen the greatest increases, which mirrors the effect of the pandemic on minority populations across the US. The publication reported that cardiovascular fatalities also had the biggest increases in 2020 among Asian, Black, and Hispanic people, implying that these were some of the most severely impacted communities during the beginning of the pandemic.

In Europe and Central Asia, ischemic heart disease dropped from 27.2% of all causes of death in 1990 to 24.4% in 2019, while stroke represented 15.1% of all causes of death in 1990 and dropped to 12.5% in 2019. Over the past few decades, the mortality rate from heart disease has declined in North America, from 28.2% of all deaths in 1990 to 18.7% in 2019. Stroke deaths fell from 7.3% of all deaths in 1990 to 6.4% of all deaths in 2019.[0]

By July 2022, over 1,000,000 COVID-19 deaths had been reported in the United States, equating to over 300 deaths for every 100,000 people in urban areas and 392 deaths for every 100,000 people in non-metropolitan areas.[1] As of July 1, 2022, life expectancy in the U.S. decreased from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77 years in 2020.[2] Globally, 19.05 million deaths were estimated for CVD in 2020, which represented an increase of 18.71 percent from 2010. In 2018 to 2019, the average annual direct and indirect cost of CVD was estimated at $407.3 billion.[3]

0. “Cardiovascular deaths saw steep rise in U.S. during 1st year of COVID-19 pandemic” WLS-TV, 26 Jan. 2023,

1. “Sobering statistics from the AHA’s 2023 heart disease and stroke update” News-Medical.Net, 26 Jan. 2023,

2. “Total CVD deaths during early period of pandemic highest since 2003” Healio, 25 Jan. 2023,

3. “AHA Presents Up-To-Date Statistics for Cardiovascular Disease” FOX Bangor/ABC 7 News and Stories, 25 Jan. 2023,

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