Heart disease patients were at increased risk of dying at the onset of a pandemic, new studies show

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows that patients awaiting surgery are at increased risk of dying due to a significant reduction in referrals and procedures for common heart disease in Ontario.

The study, which will soon be published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, highlights the impact of pandemics on cardiac care and the importance of treating high-risk patients with other medical conditions.

“In the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to hear from patients and other doctors that care for heart disease patients was delayed,” said the study in a news release, an associate professor at the University of Toronto. rice field.

“We decided to investigate these claims using an Ontario database that tracks the waiting list and waiting time for individuals with heart disease who require a procedure or surgery.”

This study analyzed data from more than 584,000 Canadian adults referred for four common cardiac interventions between January 2014 and September 2020. Surgical procedure.

More than 37,700 patients analyzed were referred during Pandemic Month in 2020.

The survey found that referrals to surgery and procedures have declined since March 15, but that number has steadily increased as the pandemic intensified. The study also observed an initial decrease in the number of procedures performed.

Patients withholding coronary artery bypass surgery or stent placement were at increased risk of dying while waiting for the procedure compared to before the pandemic. According to this study, mortality increased during the pandemic, although waiting time did not increase. This indicates that the patient may have delayed revealing symptoms to the doctor.

“We found that the increase in mortality on the waiting list was consistent across patients with stable coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndrome, or emergency referrals,” said Wijeysundera.

“Coupled with reduced referrals, this raises concerns about lack of care due to delayed diagnosis and referrals on the waiting list.”

Researchers have suggested many potential explanations for the decline in referrals during a pandemic, including fear of being infected with COVID-19 in hospitals and delayed testing.

In an editorial accompanying the study, researchers emphasized that hospitals should not rely on self-reporting of symptomatic changes to move outpatients on a waiting list system.

They don’t see anyone when the patient is at home, NSHospital patients are always Surveillance, Allow deteriorationdetAffected in a more timely way.

“‘NS No Patient must be recognized now By policy makers and decision makers, And health System fundrs “, they wrote.

The study concluded that diminished cardiac treatment capacity to accommodate patients with severe COVID-19 should be balanced with the actual risk of observed waiting list mortality.

“We believe this is very relevant to the pandemic recovery phase,” said Wijeysundera.

“Efforts must not only enhance the ability to treat patients on the waiting list, but also strive to identify upstream barriers that prevent patients from being on the waiting list. . “

Andrew Chen


Andrew is a Toronto-based reporter.