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Excess AMI-Linked Mortality Persisted During Pandemic

Significant increases seen among youngest-aged men and women, even during omicron surge

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Excess acute myocardial infarction (AMI)-associated mortality seen during the COVID-19 pandemic persisted through the omicron surge and was most pronounced in younger-aged adults, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in the Journal of Medical Virology.

Yee Hui Yeo, M.D., from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues examined the extent and disparity in excess AMI-associated mortality during the pandemic. A total of 1,522,669 AMI-associated deaths occurring between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2022, were identified. The age-standardized mortality rate for AMI-associated deaths was compared between the prepandemic and pandemic periods.

The researchers found that AMI-associated mortality rates decreased across all subgroups before the pandemic. During the pandemic, these trends reversed, with significant increases seen for the youngest-aged men and women, even during the omicron surge (October 2021 to March 2022). In the youngest and middle-age group, the semiannual percentage change in AMI-associated mortality increased by 5.3 and 3.4 percent, respectively. Excess mortality was most pronounced for the youngest-aged decedents (25 to 44 years), ranging from 23 to 34 percent compared with 13 to 18 percent for the oldest age groups.

“There are several potential explanations for the rapid rise in cardiac deaths in patients with COVID-19, yet still many unanswered questions,” Yeo said in a statement. “Importantly, our results highlight disparities in mortality that have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic and that are persisting even through the omicron era.”

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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