Study shows access to quality health care, tied to people living longer with chronic disease, results in higher COVID-19 deaths

Heart & Stroke-led research also confirms thousands of cardiovascular procedures postponed during the pandemic OTTAWA, ON, July 15, 2020 /CNW/ - New research led by Heart & Stroke published in CJC Open shows that in countries like Canada with accessible health care and a higher proportion of people living with heart conditions and stroke, the COVID-19 death rate is higher than in countries with fewer healthcare services. The study also reveals the serious disruption to essential health care for people living with cardiovascular disease, with more than 1,200 medical procedures being postponed each month in Ontario alone due to the impact of the pandemic."The higher death rate due to COVID-19 in countries such as Canada is surprising. This is partly because more people in countries with greater availability of essential healthcare services survive heart conditions and stroke," says Dr. Cindy Yip, Director, Data Knowledge Management and Heart Program, Heart & Stroke and principal investigator of the study.A"This means more people are actually living with these conditionsAlongerAand this puts them at greater risk of dying from COVID-19."In fact, for every 1% increase in the size of a country's population with heart conditions or stroke, the death rate from COVID-19 was 19% higher.AOlder age also puts people at greater risk of dying from COVID-19: for every 1% increase in the size of a country's population of people 65 years and older, the death rate from COVID-19 was 9% higher.AAAn estimated 297 coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures, 703 percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI or angioplasty with stent) and 252 valve surgeries for a total of 1,252 procedures are being postponed per month in Ontario due to COVID-19.
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