The COVID-19 pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the healthcare system. Our study armed to assess the extent and the disparity in excess acute myocardial infarction (AMI)-associated mortality during the pandemic, through the recent Omicron outbreak. Using data from the CDC's National Vital Statistics System, we identified 1 522 669 AMI-associated deaths occurring between 4/1/2012 and 3/31/2022. Accounting for seasonality, we compared age-standardized mortality rate (ASMR) for AMI-associated deaths between prepandemic and pandemic periods, including observed versus predicted ASMR, and examined temporal trends by demographic groups and region. Before the pandemic, AMI-associated mortality rates decreased across all subgroups. These trends reversed during the pandemic, with significant rises seen for the youngest-aged females and males even through the most recent period of the Omicron surge (10/2021-3/2022). The SAPC in the youngest and middle-age group in AMI-associated mortality increased by 5.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6%-9.1%) and 3.4% (95% CI: 0.1%-6.8%), respectively. The excess death, defined as the difference between the observed and the predicted mortality rates, was most pronounced for the youngest (25-44 years) aged decedents, ranging from 23% to 34% for the youngest compared to 13%-18% for the oldest age groups. The trend of mortality suggests that age and sex disparities have persisted even through the recent Omicron surge, with excess AMI-associated mortality being most pronounced in younger-aged adults.
Keywords: COVID-19; acute myocardial infarction; disparity; excess mortality; pandemic.
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