- In this analysis of cardiac arrests and arrhythmias among patients hospitalized with COVID-19, systemic illness rather than direct infection appears to be responsible for the heart burden.
Why this matters
- As cardiac effects emerged with COVID-19, whether SARS-CoV-2 or systemic inflammation was directly responsible has been unclear.
- These authors view the higher event rates in more severe disease as arguing against a direct cardiac effect of the virus.
- 71% of the 700 patients were Black; 45% were men; 6% had Afib history.
- 11% were admitted to ICU; they had more cardiovascular, kidney, pulmonary, and liver disease, more diabetes, worse cardiac, inflammatory biomarkers.
- ICU patients were also more likely to receive hydroxychloroquine or remdesivir.
- 9 cardiac arrests, 25 Afib events, 9 significant bradyarrhythmias, 10 nonsustained ventricular tachycardias (NSVTs).
- 4% overall died during 74 days: 23% of those in ICU vs 2% of those not in ICU (P<.001>
- All arrests were in ICU, the only events linked to acute, in-hospital mortality:
- aOR, 34.99 (95% CI, 3.49-350.69).
- Afib was more likely in ICU patients: aOR, 4.68 (95% CI, 1.66-13.18).
- NSVT was also more likely in ICU patients: aOR, 8.92 (95% CI, 1.73-46.06).
- Data reviewed for patients with COVID-19 admitted to a US hospital.
- Funding: Winkelman Family Fund in Cardiovascular Innovation.
- Single urban hospital.