Alvarez-Martin C, Ribera A, Marsal JR, Ariza-Sole A, Perez-Hoyos S, Oristrell G, Soriano-Colome T, Romaguera R, Pijoan JI, Lidon RM, Mauri J, Ferreira-Gonzalez I. Dynamics of emergency cardiovascular hospital admissions and in-hospital mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic: time series analysis and impact of socioeconomic factors. Front. Cardiovasc. Med. 2022 Apr 26. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2022.827212

AIMS: This study aimed to evaluate the decline in urgent cardiovascular hospital admissions and in-hospital mortality during the COVID pandemic in two successive waves, and to evaluate differences by sex, age, and deprivation index subgroups.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We obtained acute cardiovascular hospital episodes during the years 2019–2020 from region-wide data on public healthcare usage for the population of Catalonia (North-East Spain). We fitted time models to estimate the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of the acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and acute heart failure (HF) admissions during the first pandemic wave, the between-waves period, and the second wave compared with the corresponding pre-COVID-19 periods and to test for the interaction with sex, age, and area-based socioeconomic level. We evaluated the effect of COVID-19 period on in-hospital mortality. ACS (n = 8,636) and HF (n = 27,566) episodes were defined using primary diagnostic ICD-10 codes. ACS and HF admissions decreased during the first wave (IRR = 0.66, 95%CI: 0.58–0.76 and IRR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.55–0.68, respectively) and during the second wave (IRR = 0.80, 95%CI: 0.72–0.88 and IRR = 0.76, 95%CI: 0.69–0.84, respectively); acute HF admissions also decreased in the period between waves (IRR: 0.81, 95%CI: 0.74–0.89). The impact was similar in all sex and socioeconomic subgroups and was higher in older patients with ACS. In-hospital mortality was higher than expected only during the first wave.

CONCLUSION: During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a marked decline in urgent cardiovascular hospital admissions that were attenuated during the second wave. Both the decline and the attenuation of the effect have been similar in all subgroups regardless of age, sex, or socioeconomic status. In-hospital mortality for ACS and HF episodes increased during the first wave, but not during the second wave.

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