Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who present with signs of myocardial injury face an elevated risk of adverse outcomes, including death, according to new data published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Hospital readmission and symptoms suggesting "long COVID" were also more common within six months of hospitalization among these patients.
The authors analyzed data from 483 hospitalized COVID-19 patients who underwent high‐sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs‐cTnT) measurements. All patients were treated from March to May 2020.
Fifty percent of patients were women, and the median age was 63 years old. All data came from The Brigham and Women’s Hospital COVID‐19 registry.
In the team's analysis, 18.8% of patients died, 14.4% had thrombotic complications, and 25.6% had cardiovascular complications. At the end of 12 months, 22.2% of patients had died.
During the index hospitalization, 62.3% of the cohort showed signs of cardiac injury. For these patients, mortality was seen in 28.6% of patients during index hospitalization, in 32.2% after six months and in 33.2% after 12 months. Those mortality rates were 4.1%, 4.9% and 4.9% for patients with low‐level positive hs‐cTnT levels.
Mortality for patients with undetectable troponin, meanwhile, was 0% throughout the study.
Another key finding from the team’s analysis was that, of 211 patients who underwent a detailed symptom assessment after six months, 37% had ongoing COVID‐19–related symptoms, including dyspnea, chest pain, palpitations, fatigue, anosmia, ageusia or headaches.
“Future larger‐scale prospective studies are needed to address the spectrum of myocardial injury across clinical severities of COVID‐19 and the underlying mechanisms by which myocardial damage associates with longer‐term outcomes," wrote lead author Brittany Weber, MD, PhD, with the division of cardiovascular medicine department of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues.
Read the full study here.