The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the care and management of patients with acute cardiovascular disease: a systematic review
Kiss, Pauline et al.
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare services around the world, which may have serious implications for the prognosis of patients with acute cardiovascular disease. We conducted a systematic review to assess the extent to which health services related to the care and management of acute cardiovascular events have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: PubMed, MedRxiv and Google Scholar were searched for observational studies published up to August 12, 2020 for studies that assessed the impact of the pandemic on the care and management of people with acute CVD. Results: In total, 27 articles were included. Of these, 16 examined the impact on acute coronary syndromes (ACS), eight on strokes, one on ACS and strokes, and 2 on other types of CVD. When comparing the COVID-19 period to non-COVID-19 periods, eleven studies observed a decrease in ACS admissions ranging between 40 and 50% and five studies showed a decrease in stroke admissions of between 12 and 40%. Four studies showed a larger reduction in non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions (NSTEMI) compared to ST-segment elevation myocardial infarctions (STEMI). A decrease in the number of reperfusion procedures, a shortening in the lengths of stay at the hospital, and longer symptom-to-door times were also observed. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial decrease in the rate of admissions for acute CVD, reductions in the number of procedures, shortened lengths of stay at the hospital and longer delays between the onset of the symptoms and hospital treatment. The impact on patient’s prognosis needs to be quantified in future studies.