Today, the National Forum unveiled the 2021 Signature Report: COVID-19 and Cardiovascular Disease – Two Pandemics: Collision and Chain Reaction, authored by Dr. Stephen Sidney.
Highlights of the Sidney Report:
- Heart disease and stroke death rates rose sharply, and racial and ethnic disparities skyrocketed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- “COVID-19 is worsening the cardiovascular disease pandemic, and cardiovascular conditions continue to intensify the COVID-19 pandemic. These intertwined processes victimize people of all races, especially Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black people.”
- The U.S.’ prioritization of adults ages 65 and over for COVID-19 vaccination “unintentionally contributed to disparities in the burden of COVID-19. This age level protects a much greater proportion of Whites than people who are Hispanic or Non-Hispanic Black” because of demographic differences.
- COVID-19 pushed the CVD death rate higher due to several factors such as strains on medical care capacity, people’s reluctance because of COVID to get routine and even emergency care, and COVID’s direct harm to the heart.
The report recommends actions to reduce the burden of both pandemics:
- Raise understanding that cardiovascular disease prevention is COVID-19 prevention and COVID-19 prevention is cardiovascular disease prevention.
- Encourage and empower people to be more physically active. Research shows that physical activity reduces risk for both serious COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease.
- Maximize the COVID-19 vaccination rate in all people of eligible ages.