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While COVID-19 was the third-leading cause of death in 2020, doctors stress the importance of heart disease and cancer prevention as well

By the end of 2020, COVID-19 had become the third leading cause of death in the U.S., trailing behind heart disease and cancer. While doctors are urging you to take safety precautions against the virus, they're also urging you to prevent the other two diseases as well.

Posted: Apr 8, 2021 9:03 AM
Updated: Apr 8, 2021 11:19 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Just over 3 million Americans died last year and COVID-19 was reported as the underlying cause for about 11% of those deaths. However, heart disease and cancer accounted for even more deaths.

Heart disease has been the number one cause of death in Americans for years now and a growing concern among doctors is that it's happening in younger adults more than ever before. Dr. Mohamed Omer is a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and he explained because the pandemic has put on a lot of stress for most of us, people are turning to binge eating or smoking, which can be linked to heart disease later on. "Some of the important signs you should pay attention to are chest pain, especially when it's in the middle of the sternum or the left shoulder and if it comes with exhaustion," he said. "The other thing is shortness of breath." Both of which are symptoms of COVID-19.

So what can you do that will help lower the risk of any of these illnesses in the future? Dr. Omer said you work out and you quit smoking. He explained prevention is key and to keep our heart healthy we need to stay healthy.

The battle medical experts are facing now is that COVID-19 is actually causing a delay in the presentation of some patients with heart attacks. "So some people having typical chest pain and manifestation of heart attack, but because people are trying to avoid the hospital, so they come very late," explained Dr. Omer. "This can cause a lot of trouble, like permanent heart damage. The other problem is that COVID-19 itself is a virus and can cause inflammation of the heart muscle."

All it takes is about 30 minutes of activity every day to get our heart healthy. That can be split up through out the day - whatever works for you and fits in your schedule.

Medical experts are predicting that even with the COVID-19 vaccine being distributed quicker than anticipated, the virus will likely hold a top 10 spot on this years leading causes of death list, following heart disease and cancer again.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 891099

Reported Deaths: 9406
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1743652015
Ramsey720081036
Dakota65596566
Anoka62204564
Washington39195354
Stearns32672274
St. Louis28594394
Wright25235206
Scott25213181
Olmsted21580127
Sherburne18406126
Carver1620266
Clay11865102
Blue Earth1121766
Rice11172138
Crow Wing10954121
Chisago970675
Kandiyohi9612106
Otter Tail9568124
Benton8767123
Beltrami798592
Goodhue781495
Douglas7642100
Itasca748694
Mower720247
Winona699856
McLeod692983
Isanti678383
Steele666030
Morrison661678
Becker617472
Polk589184
Freeborn548845
Carlton525973
Nobles521254
Lyon517261
Mille Lacs513272
Nicollet507559
Pine498041
Cass490252
Todd480942
Brown463457
Le Sueur443633
Meeker421057
Martin375943
Waseca364232
Wabasha363710
Hubbard348248
Dodge347611
Roseau307631
Fillmore297015
Wadena296239
Redwood276545
Houston264817
Renville263151
Faribault252431
Sibley246117
Pennington245629
Kanabec240834
Cottonwood224132
Aitkin215350
Chippewa215141
Pope201210
Watonwan193720
Yellow Medicine184721
Rock174328
Swift168522
Koochiching165323
Stevens163111
Jackson159016
Clearwater155120
Murray150611
Marshall150521
Pipestone147729
Lake129224
Lac qui Parle119425
Wilkin119015
Mahnomen104514
Norman10299
Grant9679
Big Stone9305
Lincoln8665
Kittson71223
Red Lake70410
Traverse5986
Unassigned550124
Lake of the Woods5235
Cook3000

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 516453

Reported Deaths: 7289
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk80319799
Linn32142424
Scott26637292
Black Hawk21974378
Woodbury20490258
Johnson19778105
Dubuque18515241
Pottawattamie15890213
Dallas15320113
Story1380258
Warren8450104
Cerro Gordo7964123
Clinton7725114
Webster7326122
Des Moines7098105
Marshall669093
Muscatine6645117
Wapello6441144
Jasper619591
Sioux610177
Lee5908105
Marion557897
Buena Vista502149
Plymouth488388
Henry418655
Benton404859
Jones404862
Bremer395372
Washington391463
Boone389739
Carroll367755
Mahaska365365
Crawford353747
Dickinson314655
Jackson307747
Buchanan305741
Clay295536
Delaware294654
Kossuth289077
Fayette286353
Hardin284353
Tama279777
Page272533
Wright266149
Cedar265527
Hamilton259857
Winneshiek258143
Floyd255449
Clayton244459
Poweshiek237243
Madison234525
Harrison234379
Cass233466
Butler232744
Iowa229634
Jefferson223043
Mills220930
Winnebago215938
Hancock214639
Cherokee211347
Lyon206142
Appanoose205357
Allamakee203955
Calhoun196919
Shelby196442
Union191141
Humboldt185130
Grundy183637
Franklin183029
Mitchell182043
Chickasaw178922
Emmet178246
Louisa176953
Sac171026
Guthrie168137
Montgomery161745
Clarke160829
Keokuk150839
Palo Alto150532
Howard146824
Monroe142739
Ida130141
Greene127517
Davis124625
Lucas124426
Monona122939
Worth12139
Pocahontas120724
Adair114337
Osceola104818
Decatur101913
Taylor98514
Fremont95913
Van Buren93222
Wayne84525
Ringgold76729
Audubon74917
Adams5748
Unassigned480
Rochester
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