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CVD-Related Deaths Increase, Excess Deaths Reach 14.8 Million: Report

Nationwide, Cardiovascular Disease is the Leading Cause of Death.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the US, killing more people each year than all forms of cancer and accidents combined. Despite being aware of the risk factors and having seen advances in treatment, over 800,000 Americans still die from cardiovascular disease each year, and the rate of premature deaths has also increased over the last decade.[0]

The American Heart Association recently released a report showing that CVD-related deaths increased from 874,613 in 2019 to 928,741 in 2020, representing the largest single-year increase since 2015 and topping the previous high of 910,000 recorded in 2003.

The rise in the number of CVD deaths in 2020 is also seen amongst Asian, Black and Hispanic people, who were most heavily affected in the early days of the pandemic, bringing to focus increasing structural and societal disparities.

What is even more striking is that the age-adjusted mortality rate increased for the first time in several years, by a “fairly substantial” 4.6%.[1] Even though the total number of deaths have been slowly increasing over the past decade, the age-adjusted rates had been declining until 2020.[1]

The World Health Organization (WHO) released their largest report to date in December concerning the excessive deaths throughout the first two years of the pandemic, estimating that 14.8 million more people than usual passed away between 2020 and 2021.[2] The World Health Organization’s (WHO) estimate of excess deaths due to the pandemic is the most conservative of all estimates made by other entities that have been tracking the deaths.[2]

Michelle A. Albert, a professor at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) commented that “People from communities of color were among those more highly impacted, especially early on, often due to a disproportionate burden of cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and obesity. Additionally, there are socioeconomic considerations, as well as the ongoing impact of structural racism on multiple factors including limiting the ability to access quality health care.”[3]

The CDC data also shows that children are less vaccinated against Covid-19 than any other age group in the US. Only approximately 10% of eligible children have received their booster shot, while more than 90% of children aged 5 and under remain unvaccinated.[4]

0. “New Initiative Aims to Reverse the Alarming Rise in Cardiovascular Deaths” Yahoo! Voices, 25 Jan. 2023,

1. “CV Deaths Jumped in 2020, Reflecting Pandemic Toll” Medscape, 27 Jan. 2023,

2. “Is the task of calculating global COVID-19 deaths an impossible one?” Frontline, 24 Jan. 2023,

3. “COVID Toll: Big Jump in Cardiovascular-Related Deaths Reported by American Heart Association” SciTechDaily, 25 Jan. 2023,

4. “COVID-19 is a leading cause of death for children in the US, despite relatively low mortality rate” 4029tv, 30 Jan. 2023,

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