Heart injury in severe COVID-19 linked to higher death risk of death

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study, researchers found that heart damage is prevalent among patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and is associated with a higher risk of mortality.

More specifically, a serious heart injury can triple the risk of death.

The research was conducted by Mount Sinai scientists.

There has been a lot of speculation about how COVID-19 affects the heart and blood vessels, and with what frequency.

This study may help to shed some light on this.

In the study, the team analyzed electronic health records of nearly 3,000 adult patients with confirmed positive COVID-19 admitted to five New York City hospitals.

Roughly 25% of the patients had a history of heart disease (including coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and heart failure) and roughly 25% had heart disease risk factors (including diabetes or hypertension).

The team found that 36% of patients who were hospitalized with COVID-19 had elevated troponin levels—which represents heart injury—and were at higher risk of death.

They found patients with milder forms of myocardial injury were associated with a lower likelihood of hospital discharge and a 75% higher risk of death compared to patients with normal levels.

For those with substantial injury, their risk of death was three times higher than COVID-19-positive patients without heart injury.

These findings, which are consistent with reports from China and Europe, are important for clinicians.

The team says if COVID-19-positive patients arrive in the emergency room and their initial test results show troponin levels are elevated, doctors may be able to better triage these patients and watch over them more closely, but this remains a testable hypothesis.

The lead author of the study is Anu Lala, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Copyright © 2020 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.