Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Patients Without COVID-19 With Acute Myocardial Infarction and Heart Failure

Daniel K. Fox, R. J. Waken, Daniel Y. Johnson, Gmerice Hammond, Jonathan Yu, Erika Fanous, Thomas M. Maddox, Karen E.Joynt Maddox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Excess mortality from cardiovascular disease during the COVID-19 pandemic has been reported. The mechanism is unclear but may include delay or deferral of care, or differential treatment during hospitalization because of strains on hospital capacity. METHODS AND RESULTS: We used emergency department and inpatient data from a 12-hospital health system to examine changes in volume, patient age and comorbidities, treatment (right-and left-heart catheterization), and outcomes for patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF) during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with pre-COVID-19 (2018 and 2019), controlling for seasonal variation. We analyzed 27 427 emergency department visits or hospitalizations. Patient volume decreased during COVID-19 for both HF and AMI, but age, race, sex, and medical comorbidities were similar before and during COVID-19 for both groups. Acuity increased for AMI as measured by the proportion of patients with ST-segment elevation. There were no differences in right-heart catheterization for patients with HF or in left heart catheterization for patients with AMI. In-hospital mortality increased for AMI during COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 1.46; 95% CI, 1.21–1.76), par-ticularly among the ST-segment–elevation myocardial infarction subgroup (OR, 2.57; 95% CI, 2.24–2.96), but was unchanged for HF (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.89–1.16). CONCLUSIONS: Cardiovascular volume decreased during COVID-19. Despite similar patient age and comorbidities and in-hospital treatments during COVID-19, mortality increased for patients with AMI but not patients with HF. Given that AMI is a time-sensitive condition, delay or deferral of care rather than changes in hospital care delivery may have led to worse cardiovascular outcomes during COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere022625
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022


  • COVID-19
  • acute myocardial infarction
  • heart failure
  • spillover


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