Heart defects linked to higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, study results show

These people, who were also more likely to require treatment in the intensive care unit, should receive their shots and booster shots, investigators said.

According to the results of a study published by Trafficthe journal of the American Heart Association.

People with congenital heart defects who got COVID-19 infections were also more likely to need ventilators or need intensive care unit (ICU) treatment, according to results from the study.

Those most at risk for the most severe COVID-19 infections were people who had heart defects in addition to another heart condition, who were aged 50 or older, or who were male, the report showed. ‘study.

Investigators looked at data on people hospitalized with COVID-19 between March 2020 and January 2021, which was collected by the special COVID-19 version of the Premier Healthcare database, a database representing approximately 20% of all hospitalizations in the United States.

People with and without heart defects received care at the same hospitals, and investigators took into account differences in age, ethnicity, type of health insurance, race and gender, as well as age. other high-risk conditions including diabetes, Down syndrome, heart failure, obesity and pulmonary hypertension.

During the study period, 235,638 people between the ages of 1 and 64 were hospitalized with COVID-19 and included in the study. Investigators divided the individuals into those who had congenital heart defects and those who did not.

In the 2 groups, investigators then determined how many people needed to be admitted to intensive care, needed a ventilator to help with breathing, or had died. They also looked at other characteristics, including other health conditions.

Of the people in the study, 421 had congenital heart defects.

Investigators found that among those with heart defects, about 73% were over the age of 30, 61% were male, 55% were non-Hispanic white, 19% were Hispanic, and 16% were non-Hispanic black.

Overall, about 68% of people with heart defects had at least 1 other health condition, compared to about 59% of those without congenital heart defects.

In addition, about 54% of people with congenital heart defects were admitted to intensive care, compared to 43% without.

Investigators also found that about 24% of people with congenital heart defects needed ventilators, compared to 15% without.

About 11% of people with congenital heart defects died during hospitalization, compared to 7% of others.

Additionally, the investigators noted that people with congenital heart defects remained consistently at high risk for serious COVID-19 infection, even when categorized by age or other health conditions in the study. ‘study.

“People with heart defects should be encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccines and boosters and continue to practice additional preventive measures for COVID-19, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. People with heart defects should also consult with their healthcare teams about additional steps to manage personal risks from COVID-19, given the significantly increased risk of serious infection and serious complications,” Karrie Downing, MPH, an epidemiologist at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities and the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Team, said in a statement.

A limitation of the study was that only people hospitalized with COVID-19 were included in the study, so clinical details about underlying heart defects were not available.

Laboratory tests for COVID-19 also varied by hospital, and vaccination status was not considered in the study.


People with heart defects may be at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. Eurek alert. Press release. March 7, 2022. Accessed March 7, 2022. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/945163