Between 2012 to 2019, the number of Americans receiving one of a variety of aortic valve transplants grew by 94 percent. In 2019, over 130,000 patients underwent a heart-health saving procedure.
Structural heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. For men, women, and almost all ethnic groups. As such it continues to be one of the key areas for research and medical technology and pharmaceutical development.
Below, we discuss some of the key trends influencing this dynamic and challenging area of human health.
1. Growth in Demand for PCI Procedures
Doctors performed close to 3 million percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures. This was in the USA between 2013 and 2017.
Invented in 1977, medical professionals favor the procedure over other techniques. Due to its good recovery and success rates.
A PCI is a surgical procedure that treats narrow coronary arteries–one symptom of heart disease. Surgeons insert a tube made from a surgical mesh called a stent into the artery and open it using a balloon. They leave the stent inside the artery to ensure it stays open and blood can flow through it.
This growth is due to more research into and increased real-world practice. In turn, this has led to better technology and skills.
For example, take a look at this report on the structural heart disease interventions market size. It states that industry insiders expect the market to grow by 3.6 percent per year. If estimates are on track, it will reach $4.1 billion in six years.”
Medical equipment manufacturers and suppliers have a chance to improve. Especially on their technology offerings in this area.
2. Structural Heart Disease: Mortality Rate Decline Slows
Since the 1970s, the mortality rate of patients in the US with coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and structural heart disease diagnosis has dropped. Researchers have attributed this decline to some key factors.
Fewer people are smoking cigarettes. Better control of hypertension. And the use of statins in lowering cholesterol levels.
In the past decade, this trend seems to be slowing, as reported in some important studies–as this 2019 paper on trends in cardiovascular medicine outlines. Since 2011, younger patients have been dying from fatal heart attacks. A key driver appears to be a widening disparity in socio-economic conditions and access to healthcare.
We need more research to work out the demographic and health issues (such as uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity) affecting these patients. Experimental treatments, such as the seafood-derived TMAO, may hold promise for some patients.
3. Impact of COVID-19 on Cardiovascular Health
An area of intense study in the cardiovascular health field in 2020 is the impact COVID-19 is having on our hearts. While the novel virus affects the respiratory system, its impact on the body is far wider-reaching. Patients may find that the function of organs like the brain, kidneys, and heart also sustain damage.
Patients with pre-existing diseases of the heart see the highest mortality rates. As many as 40 percent of COVID-19 patients have cerebrovascular or cardiovascular disease. As confirmed by collective data from American and European cases of patients with the ailment.
Serious Complications if Left Untreated
While a lot of structural heart disease issues are congenital (people are born with them), some develop over time due to the effects of aging, other diseases, or poor lifestyle habits. Complications can lead to migraines, kidney failure, stroke, and breathing issues. Technology and treatments are advancing and the condition is often treatable, so long your doctor catches it early.
Take time to browse through the other articles on our website for more in-depth information on how to keep healthy.