Heart disease and stroke still rank among the leading causes of death in the United States, according to new CDC data. As one might expect, COVID-19 landed near the top of that list as well.
Heart disease is currently the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. COVID-19 is No. 3, and stroke comes in at No. 5.
In a new statement, the American Heart Association (AHA) said that heart disease will likely continue to sit at the No. 1 spot years as the long-term impact of COVID-19 is felt all over the country.
Lloyd-Jones, an epidemiologist and chair of the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, added that while tremendous progress has been made in those areas over the last two decades, much of that progress has eroded since COVID-19 hit.
The combination of unhealthy eating habits, increased consumption of alcohol, lack of physical activity, missed medical visits, fear of hospitals and the mental toll of quarantine isolation can adversely impact a person’s cardiovascular risk, according to the AHA.
“Our messages for preventing heart disease and stroke and their risk factors have never been more important,” Lloyd-Jones added. “Watch your diet, get up and move more, get the sleep your body needs and please see your doctor to make sure you’re managing any chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. We’ll need to watch and address these trends as the full ramifications are yet to come.”