36% of patients who are hospitalized for Covid-19 have heart injury and have a higher risk of death according to a recent study by Anu Lala, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Anu Lala’s team studied the records of 3000 patients who checked in at the emergency room of five New York City hospitals during the first two weeks of April. Among these 3000 patients. 60% of them were male. The average age was 66 year old. 25% were self-identified as African American and 26% were self identified as Hispanic or Latino. A quarter of them had a history of heart disease and another quarter had cardiovascular risk factors.
High level of Troponin is an indicator of myocardial injury or hearth damage
Among the 3000 patients’s blood samples analyzed, 64 % had a normal level of Troponin, 17% had a mildly elevated level, and 19% had a highly elevated level (more than 3 times the highest normal level). Many of the patients who had a very high level of Troponin were older than 70 year old and had a medical history of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, coronary artery disease or atrial fibrillation.
The researchers then analyzed the risk of death of those patients based on their level of Troponin. While patients with a mildly high level of Troponin were less likely to be discharged from the hospital, patients hospitalized with Covid-19 who had a very high level of Troponin were 3 times more at risk to die than patients with normal levels.
Troponin level was found to be a better indicator in predicting the risk of death from Covid-19 than a history of heart disease.
Further studies are now necessary to understand the reason why myocardial injury is so frequent among Covid-19 patients.
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Reminder: Health care workers are protected from personal injury lawsuits related to Covid-19 effective March 7 through the end of the COVID-19 emergency declaration
Picture source: Wikipedia