In a major study, researchers have found that Covid-19 patients with cardiovascular comorbidities or risk factors are more likely to develop heart complications while hospitalised, and more likely to die from the virus.
According to the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, it is crucial for clinicians working with cardiovascular patients to understand the clinical presentation and risk factors for Covid-19 infection in this group.
“For most people, the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) causes mild illness, however, it can generate severe pneumonia and lead to death in others,” said study authors from the Magna Graecia University in Italy.
In the new study, the research team analysed data from 21 published observational studies on a total of 77,317 hospitalised Covid-19 patients in Asia, Europe and the US.
At the time they were admitted to the hospital, 12.89 per cent of the patients had cardiovascular comorbidities, 36.08 per cent had hypertension and 19.45 per cent had diabetes.
The findings showed that cardiovascular complications were documented during the hospital stay of 14.09 per cent of Covid-19 patients.
According to the researchers, the most common of these complications were arrhythmias or palpitations; significant numbers of patients also had myocardial injury.
Myocardial injury is considered acute if there is a rise and fall of cardiac troponin concentrations exceeding biological and analytical variation.
When the researchers analysed the data, they found that pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities or risk factors were significant predictors of cardiovascular complications, but age and gender were not.
The study showed that both age and pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities or risk factors were significant predictors of death.
“Cardiovascular complications are frequent among Covid-19 patients and might contribute to adverse clinical events and mortality,” the study author concluded.