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Ambulance calls for cardiac incidents have significantly increased in Scotland

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Public Health Scotland data for ambulance services shows that from mid-August 2020 to November 2022 there has been a significant weekly increase in cardiovascular incidents in Scotland – averaging about 30% higher than the corresponding period in 2018-19.  Percentage increases in the under 45 years old group are consistently higher than in the older age group.

There were especially large peaks, over 60% higher, between May and Sept 2021.  And there is some evidence of peaks in serious cardiac incidents occurring shortly after vaccination peaks in each of the different age groups.

This is not the first time that increased ambulance callouts for heart related issues have raised the alarm.

In June 2022, we published an article about a response from NHS West Midlands to a Freedom of Information Act request which revealed ambulance call-outs relating to “immediate care required for a debilitating condition affecting the heart” nearly doubled during the whole of 2021 and were still on the rise in 2022.

Additionally, at the end of July 2022, we published an article about data from Public Health England showing calls to the ambulance service due to people suffering cardiac arrest or being unconscious had increased by huge numbers week on week up to July 2021.  This trend was after young adults started being administered covid injections.


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Scottish cardiac ambulance data shows worrying increase in incidents

Youngest age groups worst affected

By Where Are the Numbers

In early 2021 we wrote about the stark difference in trends between the “official” UK Government data on covid case numbers and the number of 999 and ambulance calls for covid triage, read HERE.

In our view, the ambulance data was a far more reliable indicator of covid illness than the “case” numbers and showed that, while there was a genuine peak in March 2020, there were only small seasonal increases thereafter. This contrasted with the official claims that, for example, during the winter of 2020-21 the number of case numbers were five times higher than the March 2020 peak.

Consequently, I was intrigued this week when David Scott of UK Column alerted me to some very interesting data provided by Public Health Scotland on the number of cardiovascular incidents involving the ambulance service. The data is available here: Covid-19 wider impacts on the health care system (select cardiovascular, Scottish ambulance service – note that data by age stratification is not available).

While it is possible to search by different reporting regions, I will just comment on the total for all reporting regions combined.

Overall, since mid-August 2020 there has been a significant weekly increase in cardiovascular incidents in Scotland (averaging about 30% higher than the corresponding period in 2018-19), with especially large peaks between May- Sept 2021 (over 60% higher than the corresponding period in 2018-19):

But the differences in age group patterns are interesting as shown in the following figures (although note that the y-axes are slightly different in each case):

(Click the arrows on either side of the image or swipe left or right to see the graphs for each age group)

As the above graphs have slightly different y-axes it is useful to directly compare the youngest age group (15-44) with one of the oldest age groups (75-84) on the same axis:

Note that:

  • The percentage increases in the young age group have been consistently higher than the older age group.
  • In the young age group, the average weekly increase peaked around July 2021 (83%) but has been consistently high since then (average weekly 40% higher) and never below 14% higher.
  • In the older age group, the first peak was in April 2021 (34%), highest peak July 2021 (52% increase). Several below 0% since (averaging 16%).

So, in summary it seems:

  1. The youngest have been proportionally worst affected with serious increased cardiac incidents.
  2. There is some evidence of peaks in serious cardiac incidents occurring shortly after vaccination peaks in each of the different age groups.

In case anybody suspects that the differences and large fluctuations are due to chance because of low incident numbers it is important to note the weekly numbers provided since 2020 in the following chart.

The oldest age group has the lowest weekly number (averaging around 130 since the start of 2021) while the 45-64 age group has the highest weekly number (averaging around 410 since the start of 2021). These numbers are not small enough to have created the different patterns by chance.

About the Author

Where Are the Numbers is a Substack by Professors Norman Fenton and Martin Neil. Between them, they have authored hundreds of scientific papers and numerous books on statistics, decision making, risk and uncertainty systems and software engineering, and have consulted commercially to scores of commercial organisations.

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7 days ago

Thank you for publishing this.

Can data on England ambulance calls for cardiac issues be obtained thru end of 2022?

I live near a main road in north Liverpool and am aware there are more ambulance calls in the last few years, which corresponds with the double jabbing and booster campaigns as people are sicker than ever, not healthier.

A friend who works as customer service says that their bereavement team had to be doubled in size to handle the reports of bereavement. Yes more people, especially older people, are dying in larger numbers.

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