Research by the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) found that patients with Covid-19 are four times more likely to die from cardiac arrest, in the hospital or after treatment ends. For women, the risk is even greater: the likelihood of a fatal heart attack among women was nine times higher than that of men. The study was published in the European Heart Journal.
The researchers evaluated 3,044 cases of cardiac arrest: 1,964 outside hospitals (as in the patient’s home) and 1,080 that occurred in a hospital setting. Data were collected between January 1, 2020 and July 20, 2020.
First, the study’s authors divided the cases between pre-pandemic (those that happened between January 1 and March 16, 2020) and pandemic (from March 16 onwards). Then, they separate the occurrences that occurred outside hospitals and the cardiac arrests registered inside hospital environments.
Of the 1,946 cases of sudden cardiac arrest outside hospitals, 10% occurred in patients who tested positive for Sars-CoV-2, that is, who had Covid-19 confirmed. Among these people, the risk of death was 3.4 times greater than for the other members of the group.
Among the 1,080 cases that occurred within hospitals, 16% were from people with Covid-19. Among these patients, mortality was 2.3 times higher than among people without the disease.
The researchers also analyzed the so-called survival outcome: 83.4% of patients with Covid-19 who had a heart attack died in less than 24 hours.
In the pre-pandemic phase, the survival rate after 30 days of the event was 7.6%. Among those who had cardiac arrest inside the hospital, 23.1% of patients with coronavirus survived 30 days after the infarction, against 36.4% of pre-pandemic patients.
Women with Covid-19 are more vulnerable
The difference in mortality was greater among women with coronavirus who were in hospital care when cardiac arrest occurred. In these patients, there was a nine times higher risk of death during the first months after the episode. From April onwards, this risk was seven times greater.
“We hope that our results can help raise awareness about the complications of Covid-19 among the public, caregivers and decision makers. This could improve care and mobilize resources for high-risk patients, ”said Araz Rawshani, a researcher at the Faculty of Medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy and one of the authors of the work.