CARDIOVASCULAR INVOLVEMENT AND MORTALITY WITH NEW COVID-19 VARIANTS
Objectives: The presence of cardiac involvement is accepted as an indicator of morbidity and mortality in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Therefore, this study investigates data on cardiovascular involvement and clinical outcomes between the first wave with wild virus and mutation-dominant second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Methodology: This was a single centre, retrospective study using and the data was collected from confirmed COVID-19 patients. Patients’ demographic and clinical characteristics, cardiovascular involvement, and the factors associated with mortality were analysed. All these data were compared between first (wild virus) and second-wave (mutant viruses) patients.
Results: The study included 476 positive inpatients confirmed by a real-time polymerase chain reaction. Although the length of hospital stay was similar, the duration of intensive care units (ICUs) was longer in the second wave (6.3 ± 3.2 vs. 7.5 ± 3.5; p=0.020). The rate of severe illness (12.9 vs. 20.3%; p=0.037) and critical illness referral to ICUs (4.3 vs. 9.7%; p=0.031) was higher in the second wave than in the first. In addition, the incidence of myocardial damage was significantly higher in the second wave (4.3 vs. 10.7%; p=0.046).
Conclusion: In the present study, myocardial injury, development of critical illness, and referral to the ICUs increased in correlation with the disease severity in the second wave compared to the first. Variant viruses and possibly the burden of the crowd on healthcare contribute to this situation. Therefore, epidemiological data are required to guide situational awareness as long as the pandemic remains.