Epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in the United States: implications for the perfusion profession. A 2017 update

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By analyzing epidemiological trends in cardiovascular disease (CVD), key stakeholders can make informed decisions on the future of disease burden and treatment. Accordingly, the cardiovascular perfusion community would benefit from data that would help predict future professional resource utilization.


In 2003, the changes in the number of hospital discharges for CVD from 1990 to 2000 were published, based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). In this study, the NCHS database was reviewed, as well as other resources, to compile the procedure data.


Deaths due to heart disease and the number of hospital admissions for CVD have decreased over the last decade in contrast to the previous decade. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI), cardiac catheterization and angioplasty rates have also decreased. However, the percentage of the population older than 65 years of age is increasing at a much faster rate than the population growth in general. As a result, there has been a consistent increase in cardiac services utilization, such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), ventricular assist devices and extracorporeal life support (ECLS).


There are many different factors affecting the need for perfusionists in the future. An increasing and aging population with a higher prevalence of CVD, an increased number of hospitals offering cardiovascular services and increased access to care increases the need for perfusion services. It is important for the perfusion profession to follow these changing trends in CVD and treatment in order to plan for the future.

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