AHA News: More People Are Dying During the Pandemic – and Not Just From COVID-19

July 10, 2020

"It seems like people are afraid of getting the virus, or maybe they're afraid of adding to the burden on the doctors and the hospital," said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, professor of neurology and epidemiology at Columbia University in New York. "They think, 'I don't want to bother anybody, and I'll be OK. Why don't I just stay home and take care of this myself?'

"But obviously, especially for serious conditions like heart disease and stroke, that is the wrong thing to do," he said. "Just like before the pandemic, they should seek help, call 911 or get to the emergency room right away."

Elkind, who is president of the American Heart Association, said the danger is twofold: delayed treatment increases the risk of death, while survivors can face a diminished quality of life. [read more]