44% of Italians die of heart attack and stroke. The alarm of cardiologists

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44% of the total deaths in our country are due to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack e stroke. It reveals the Eurostat report for 2020, which has recorded sudden illnesses and deaths even among young people. A fact that makes you think well because, despite what one is led to think, it far exceeds the deaths caused by Covid-19.

In the year the pandemic broke out, Covid was the third leading cause of death in the European Union, with a total of almost 439,000 deaths compared to 1.7 million people who have lost their lives due to cardiovascular disease. Among EU members, in particular, the highest share of deaths from diseases of the circulatory system was observed in Bulgaria (61%) and the lowest in France (20%).

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The data relating to the most intense year of the pandemic have been disclosed for the first time and show that our country has actually recorded the highest number of deaths (78,478), but comparing the number of deaths from Covid-19 with the others that occurred also in 2020, it appears that the main causes of death among the inhabitants of the European Union were diseases of the circulatory system and the cancer (malignant neoplasms) with Covid-19 in third place, followed by respiratory diseases.

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The very serious risks related to cardiovascular disease were discussed during the meeting entitled Pnrr, hypercholesterolemia, cardiovascular risk. Between unresolved needs, innovation and new organizational needsorganized in Milan by Healthcare engine. Among the experts who attended, too Fabrizio Giovanni OlivaDirector of the Cardiology Complex Structure 1-Hemodynamics-Cardiological Intensive Care Unit, Niguarda Hospital in Milan and designated President of ANMCO, who underlined yet another aspect: namely that these cardiovascular diseases determine a significant disability in those who survive an event of stroke and heart attacksignificantly affecting the quality of life of these people and their families.

Cardiovascular diseases therefore represent a health problem which during the recent pandemic has certainly not improved, due to fewer checks, missed diagnoses, loss of therapeutic adherence, on which thehypercholesterolemia still has too significant an impact.

“We are slowly and tiringly emerging from the pandemic phase, bringing with us a load of problems related to the fact that, in the 3 years of the Covid-19 pandemic, cardiovascular diseases have been treated inadequately in many situations”, commented Professor Furio ColivicchiPresident of the National Association of Hospital Cardiologists (ANMCO) – Association that brings together 6,000 cardiologists involved in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases who work in the structures of the National Health Service.

What is behind the increase in cardiovascular problems

In the pandemic phase, lifestyles have worsened: smokers have increaseda sedentary lifestyle has increased (also due to the smart working), the incidence of obesity and excess weight more generally. Factors that, over time, bring a problem to our heart.

Analyzes conducted on the consumption of tobacco and its derivatives attest to a significant increase in smokers, which exceeds 10% of pre-pandemic levels. «This leads us to deduce that not only smokers have increased, but also that those who already smoked now smoke more», explains Professor Furio Colivicchi. We also know that people have cared less: «In the heaviest period of the pandemic, there was a drop in pharmacy sales of drugs for the treatment of hypertension and high cholesterol by more than 20%. This relates to an overall worsening of the management of these two risk factors. We have also seen this in first aid activities: for heart failure, which is the final stage in the development of the disease, accesses have increased by over 25% and hospital mortality of decompensated patients has risen to 15-20% (in the period of the pandemic it had tripled) ».

Even young Italians at risk

All these indicators make up a sort of mosaic that tells us how the situation of cardiovascular diseases in Italy is significantly worsening. «Let’s not forget the loneliness and the less interaction with people, other negative legacies that the pandemic leaves us, together with the increase in discomfort, the fatigue of living in a complex reality like the one we face today», concludes the President of ANMCO. «In addition, there is also the factor of abuse of narcotic substances which has exploded in this period, which have unfavorable effects on the cardiovascular system and can lead to acute events. This is especially seen in young people, who think they are risk-free.

More stories from Vanity Fair that may interest you:

Because women’s hearts are more at risk

Female ischemic heart disease: what you need to know about the disease in women

Giulia: «When your daughter’s heart doesn’t beat well»

Emanuela Angeli, pediatric heart surgeon: “All those children I carry in my heart”

Source: Vanity Fair

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