Heart Defects Don’t Increase Risk of Severe COVID

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, October 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) – In what will be reassuring news for those born with a heart defect, new research reveals that these people are not at increased risk of moderate or severe COVID-19.

The study included more than 7,000 adults and children born with a heart defect (congenital heart disease) and followed by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.

Between March and July 2020, the center reported 53 patients with congenital heart disease (median age 34) with COVID-19 infection.

“At the onset of the pandemic, many feared that congenital heart disease was as important a risk factor for COVID-19 as adult cardiovascular disease,” the study authors wrote in the report published online on October 14 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

However, the researchers were “reassured by the low number of patients treated at their center and the patient outcomes,” they said in a press release.

Of the 43 adults and 10 children with a congenital heart defect infected with COVID-19, 58% had complex congenital anatomy, 15% had a genetic syndrome, 11% had pulmonary hypertension, and 17% were obese.

Nine patients (17%) had moderate / severe infection and three patients (6%) died, according to the study.

Concomitant genetic syndrome in patients of all ages and with advanced physiological stages in adult patients was each associated with an increased risk of symptom severity from COVID-19, the results showed.

Five patients had trisomy 21 (an extra chromosome in position 21), four patients had Eisenmenger syndrome (abnormal blood flow caused by structural defects of the heart) and two patients had DiGeorge syndrome (a condition caused by segment of chromosome 22). ). Almost all of the patients with Down’s syndrome and DiGeorge Syndrome had moderate / severe symptoms of COVID-19.

“Although our sample size is small, these results imply that specific congenital heart lesions may not be a sufficient cause on their own for severe COVID-19 infection,” according to Dr. Matthew Lewis, of Columbia University Irving. Medical Center, and colleagues.

“Despite the evidence that adult cardiovascular disease is a risk factor for worse outcomes in patients with COVID-19, patients with [congenital heart disease] without a concomitant genetic syndrome, and adults who are not at an advanced physiological stage, do not appear to be disproportionately affected, ”the study authors concluded.

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