(SNews) – Britain’s top government health official has claimed that restrictions during the Covid pandemic are to blame for soaring numbers of heart attacks and related sudden deaths.
Sir Chris Whitty is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser, and head of the public health profession.
Over the past two years, heart attacks have been soaring around the world and are still way above normal numbers.
In the UK alone, there are currently 800 more people dying each week over normal levels, and only half of that is due to Covid, London’s The Times reported.
Governments around the world have so far failed to provide any clear answers for the spike in excess sudden deaths and heart failure.
However, Professor Whitty has now alerted the UK Government about how barriers to accessing medication may have contributed.
According to Whitty, thousands of middle-aged people are now dying of heart conditions after many were reluctant to bother doctors and hospitals during the pandemic.
This year has seen a higher number of deaths than normal from preventable conditions as many have missed out on statins or pills for blood pressure amid lockdowns.
Earlier this year, the Daily Mail reported that deaths from heart attacks soared by a fifth worldwide during the pandemic.
In drawing attention to excess deaths, Whitty reportedly pointed to figures from the Office of National Statistics which demonstrate that 5,170 deaths in men aged 50-64 could have been helped by heart medications.
These patterns have been recognized by the Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay who recently stressed that it was important to be “transparent coming out of Covid around excess deaths.”
“Now, one shared point of understanding must be the scale of the COVID backlog, with around now 7.1 million patients,” Barclay said.
“For example, we know from the data that there are more 50 to 64-year-olds with cardiovascular issues.
“It’s the result of delays in that age group seeing a GP because of the pandemic and in some cases, not getting statins for hypertension in time.”
In response to the skyrocketing deaths, the UK’s Department of Health has also opened more than 90 community diagnostic centers.
The centers will test people for heart conditions and other potentially fatal illnesses such as cancer and lung disease
Earlier this year it was pledged that a network of up to 160 centers and boosted testing capacity would be available by 2025.