Infectious Disease

The incidence of sudden cardiac arrest has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Chugh H et al. Abstract B-PO01-089. Presented at: Herzrhythmus 2021; 28.-31. July 2021 (hybrid meeting).

Disclosure:
Reinier does not report any relevant financial information.

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A higher incidence of COVID-19 correlated with a significantly higher incidence of sudden cardiac arrest and lower survival rates during the pandemic period in the US, according to results presented at the 2021 Hybrid Heart Rhythm Conference.

The aim of the study was to “compare the incidence and outcomes of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 1 to December 31, 2020) with the corresponding period in 2019 in a US community”, wrote the researchers in a summary.

Someone is clutching the heart

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Kyndaron Reinier, Research Specialist at Cedars-Sinai, and colleagues analyzed data from Ventura County, California to determine the number of sudden cardiac arrests with probable cardiac etiology that were accompanied by emergency services (EMS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The monthly COVID-19 counts were taken from the CDC data. The researchers compared the number of SCAs in 2019 with the amount in 2020.

In 2019, Ventura County had 314 SCAs (average 31.4 cases per month; 10-month incidence rate 36.9 per 100,000 population) compared to 410 in 2020 (average, 41 cases per month, 30% more than 2019 ; 10-month incidence rate, 48.2 per 100,000 population; P <0.001). In December 2020, there was also an increase in SCA and COVID-19 in the region.

The researchers found that the proportion of SCAs with a shockable rhythm decreased from 25% in 2019 to 19% in 2020 (P = 0.05), as did survival to hospital discharge (14.7% to 8.8 %; P = 0.01).

There were no differences in the proportion of SCAs with attested standstill (P = 0.2), CPR in spectators (P = 0.1), and return of spontaneous circulation (P = 0.15).

“The incidence of SCA was significantly higher and survival outcomes lower during the COVID-19 pandemic, with evidence of overlap between the two diseases,” Chugh and colleagues wrote in the abstract. “These results have implications for community public health and contingency planning during the pandemic and subsequent outbreaks.”

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