- As the COVID-19 pandemic heated up, incidence of acute myocardial infarction (MI) hospitalizations dropped in a large California hospital system, echoing findings from Italy.
Why this matters
- Concerns have arisen that people are avoiding emergency calls for crucial conditions, such as MI, and that this reluctance might underlie these declining rates.
- 43,017,810 person-weeks evaluated, covering January 1-April 14, 2020.
- From January 1, 2020 to March 3, 2020, incidence rate of MI hospitalizations was 4.1 per 100,000 person-weeks.
- From April 8, 2020 to April 14, 2020, that rate was 2.1 per 100,000 person-weeks.
- The incidence rate ratio was 0.52 (95% CI, 0.40-0.68).
- The pattern was similar for ST-elevation MI vs non-ST-elevation MI.
- In addition, vs patients presenting prepandemic, those presenting from March 4, 2020 to April 14, 2020 had a lower prevalence of coronary artery disease, previous acute MI, or percutaneous coronary intervention.
- Data from Kaiser Permanente of Northern California system (21 medical centers; 255 clinics) were analyzed.
- Funding: Permanente Medical Group Delivery Sciences and Applied Research and Physician Researcher programs.
- Single large center.
- No causation established.
- Misdiagnosis possible.