The number of heart attacks in Australia has skyrocketed over the past year.
More than 10,200 Australians died of heart disease in the first eight months of 2022 -- marking a 17 percent increase over the average, health officials say. In almost all cases, the heart attacks were ischemic, says Professor Steve Nicholls, director of the Victorian Heart Hospital. “Deaths with ischemic heart disease really involve blockages of the blood vessels,” Nichols says. “And when you have blockages in the blood vessels, you then damage the heart muscle and your heart fails, and it can go into cardiac arrest, which means that it essentially stops.”
The cause of the sudden increase? COVID-19, according to Professor Tom Marwick. “The camel’s back was straining under the burden of risk factors, and then we have an infectious disease on top,” he says. “Hey! Presto! We get an increase of cardiovascular events.”
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