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: 604184

Reported Deaths: 7620
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1248631774
Ramsey52480895
Dakota46804470
Anoka42746458
Washington27416291
Stearns22552224
St. Louis18137312
Scott17548135
Wright16370149
Olmsted13391102
Sherburne1201295
Carver1066448
Clay825892
Rice8196110
Blue Earth762543
Crow Wing681594
Kandiyohi667885
Chisago619752
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475381
Mower470733
Winona461251
Itasca459263
Isanti439964
McLeod430361
Morrison424662
Nobles407950
Beltrami407561
Steele397616
Polk389072
Becker386655
Lyon363853
Carlton352756
Freeborn346932
Pine335023
Nicollet331045
Mille Lacs311654
Brown307840
Le Sueur297226
Cass286032
Todd285632
Meeker263142
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211021
Wabasha20783
Hubbard196441
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176338
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena162823
Fillmore157410
Faribault154419
Chippewa153938
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138837
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122612
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11296
Murray107010
Swift106918
Koochiching95217
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Wilkin83213
Lake83120
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5938
Lincoln5843
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 370914

Reported Deaths: 6048
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58232640
Linn21204339
Scott20306247
Black Hawk16119312
Woodbury15238230
Johnson1461585
Dubuque13506211
Dallas1128999
Pottawattamie11223174
Story1071448
Warren583991
Clinton561493
Cerro Gordo553593
Sioux517074
Webster515494
Muscatine4880106
Marshall486676
Des Moines467271
Wapello4337122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth402981
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288261
Carroll286852
Crawford268540
Boone268434
Benton259655
Washington256751
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232351
Jackson225242
Clay216627
Kossuth216166
Tama211871
Delaware210943
Winneshiek198535
Page194522
Buchanan193733
Cedar192223
Hardin187444
Fayette186543
Wright185940
Hamilton181851
Harrison179973
Clayton171057
Butler166235
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163342
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152652
Hancock150234
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137333
Emmet135841
Jefferson133435
Shelby131537
Sac130920
Union129935
Louisa129749
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124717
Franklin123323
Guthrie123232
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113523
Howard104922
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96532
Monroe96330
Unassigned9560
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7598
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Van Buren56418
Ringgold56324
Wayne54423
Audubon53411
Adams3444
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