Hundreds of under-65s have been killed by strokes and heart attacks because of the lockdown, a shock report reveals today.
Deaths soared by nearly 800 from March to July, according to the British Heart Foundation. Experts blamed the Government’s stay-at-home guidance, which has discouraged even the desperately ill from seeking medical help.
The death toll is likely to rise with the onset of winter and the resurgence of the pandemic, which could see further swathes of the North put under the highest level of lockdown from as early as today.
Officials recorded almost 2,800 heart attack and stroke deaths among under-65s in March and April – 420 more than usual. And over the next three months the count was 350 higher than expected – a 13 per cent rise on the expected figure.
A higher death toll was also seen among pensioners – with an extra 976 lives lost between March and May, nearly 6 per cent more than normal.
There have been almost 800 excess deaths from heart and circulatory diseases in people aged under 65 since the Covid-19 pandemic began, new research shows
Analysis of figures by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) show that rates of death from the conditions were almost 18 per cent higher than usual during the first peak of the coronavirus crisis between mid-March and May
‘We know there are tragic consequences of the pandemic for patients with heart and circulatory diseases,’ said Sonya Babu-Narayan, associate medical director at the BHF.
‘These figures further highlight that delays in care are likely contributing to more deaths than we would expect to see otherwise.
'It’s particularly concerning that we are seeing this trend in people under 65 continue even after the first peak of the pandemic.’
The cardiologist said restoring and maintaining cardiovascular care was vital or patients would suffer avoidable harm.
Doctors have been warning since the start of lockdown that they were seeing fewer patients in hospitals and GP surgeries.
Admissions for common conditions dropped by 173,000 between March and June and the NHS waiting list now stands at 4.2million.
More than 110,000 patients have now been waiting a year for treatment – an almost 100-fold rise since February, the month before lockdown.
Five-thousands heart attack sufferers in England missed out on life-saving hospital treatment due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a study claimed in July.
A University of Oxford team used data regularly collected by NHS Digital from hospital trusts in England to get up-to-date information about admissions.
They found admissions for any 'acute coronary syndrome' — a sudden reduction of blood to the heart — dropped from a monthly average of 13,075 to 10,118 in March.
They plummeted to 8,739 in April before slightly increasing to 9,756 in May, findings in the Lancet revealed.
Overall between January and May, there had been around 8,000 fewer admissions for acute coronary syndromes than would be expected.
Some 5,000 of these were for heart attacks specifically, which is medically known as a myocardial infarction.
The researchers looked at a certain window, March 23 to March 30, and found hospital admissions for heart attacks fell 35 per cent.
Up to a quarter of people who suffered the most severe heart attack — a complete blockage of an artery — did not seek help, figures suggest.
Admissions are now picking back up again because the coronavirus is fizzling out, according to researchers at the University of Oxford.
But patient confidence is nowhere near pre-Covid levels as Brits still fear catching the coronavirus if they go to hospital.
Experts warned the risk of death from delaying heart attack treatment is higher than picking up Covid-19 at hospital.
The death toll from cardiovascular causes rose by 2,085 in England and Wales between March and June, according to a detailed