Worrisome trends of ST-elevation myocardial infarction during the Covid-19 pandemic: Data from Portuguese centers

Luís Oliveira, Rui Campante Teles, Carina Machado, Sérgio Madeira, Nélson Vale, Carla Almeida, João Brito, Sílvio Leal, Luís Raposo, Pedro de Araújo Gonçalves, António Miguel Pacheco, Henrique Mesquita Gabriel, Manuel Almeida, Dinis Martins, Miguel Mendes

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INTRODUCTION: During the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a general belief that hospital admissions for non-infectious causes, especially cardiovascular disease, have fallen.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of the pandemic on admissions for ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) during the first pandemic wave.

METHODS: We performed a multicenter retrospective analysis of consecutive patients presenting with STEMI in two Portuguese hospital centers in two sequential periods - P1 (March 1 to April 30) and P2 (May 1 to June 30). Patients' clinical data and hospital outcomes were compared between the two periods for the years 2017 to 2019 and for 2020.

RESULTS: During P1 in 2020, a reduction in the number of STEMI patients was observed in comparison with previous years (26.0±4.2 vs. 16.5±4.9 cases per month; p=0.033), as well as an increase in the number of mechanical complications (0.0% vs. 3.0%; p=0.029). Percutaneous coronary interventions in the setting of failed thrombolysis were more frequent (1.9% vs. 9.1%; p=0.033). An overall trend for longer delays in key timings of STEMI care bundles was noted. Mortality was higher during P1 compared to previous years (1.9% vs. 12.1%; p=0.005).

CONCLUSIONS: During the first Covid-19 wave fewer patients presented with STEMI at the catheterization laboratory for percutaneous coronary intervention. These patients presented more mechanical complications and higher mortality.

Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)465-471
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Cardiologia
Issue number6
Early online date17 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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