Patients who survived severe COVID-19 and who required mechanical ventilation were at increased risk for major arrhythmic events after discharge from the hospital. After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors and socioeconomic factors, the results were maintained.
Andreas Liliequist, PhD candidate, and colleagues conducted a nationwide case-control study, evaluating the occurrence of arrhythmias in patients with severe COVID-19 who required mechanical ventilation. They presented their findings at the 2023 European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) Congress, held from April 16-18, in Barcelona, Spain1.
The study included 3,023 patients with severe COVID-19 who were treated with mechanical ventilation and 28,463 matched controls. Hospitalization for arrhythmia was the primary outcome.
After a mean follow-up of 12 months and adjustment for covariates, the risks for ventricular tachycardia (HR 16.3; 95% CI, 7.9–33.9), atrial fibrillation (HR 12.6), other tachyarrhythmias (HR 13.9), and bradycardia or pacemaker implantation (HR 8.6) were greatly increased in the COVID-19 group compared with the matched controls. According to the study authors, these results imply that patients who were discharged from the hospital after mechanical ventilation for severe COVID-19 with inherent risk factors for developing arrhythmias should be closely monitored.
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