The vessels blocked by these clots are thinner than the width of a human hair, and they are critical for gas exchange in the lung. With clots choking off the lungs’ blood supply, these tiny vessels seem to make a desperate move, splitting down the middle in an attempt to get blood to these compromised areas -- a phenomenon called intussusceptive angiogenesis.
“What happens is that the blood vessel essentially drops sheet rock from ceiling to the floor. Now you’ve got a tunnel that actually splits into two,” says study author William Li, MD, president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation.
Before the pandemic, AMI-associated mortality rates decreased across all subgroups. These trends reversed during the pandemic, with significant rises seen for the youngest-aged females and males even through the most recent period of the Omicron surge (10/2021–3/2022). The SAPC in the youngest and middle-age group in AMI-associated mortality increased by 5.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6%–9.1%) and 3.4% (95% CI: 0.1%–6.8%), respectively. The excess death, defined as the difference between the observed and the predicted mortality rates, was most pronounced for the youngest (25–44 years) aged decedents, ranging from 23% to 34% for the youngest compared to 13%–18% for the oldest age groups. The trend of mortality suggests that age and sex disparities have persisted even through the recent Omicron surge, with excess AMI-associated mortality being most pronounced in younger-aged adults.