EHRN: New Analysis Suggests COVID-19 Infection Doesn’t Cause New Heart Failure

EHRN: New Analysis Suggests COVID-19 Infection Doesn’t Cause New Heart Failure

In our recent study1, we found that 3,945 patients had new heart failure documented within 3 months after their COVID-19 admission. To determine whether this heart failure was new or pre-existing, we examined new documentation of heart failure for patients admitted with hip fracture or stroke to compare with our finding for COVID-19. We selected hip fracture as a comparison because there is no expected clinical, causal relationship between hip fracture and heart failure, and we selected stroke because it shares a similar risk profile as severe COVID-19.

We found that in hospitalized patients, 8.6% of patients with COVID-19, 9.4% of patients with hip fracture, and 12.4% of patients with stroke had new heart failure documented within 90 days of hospital admission. These findings suggest that the increase in new heart failure for COVID-19 is more likely documentation of pre-existing heart failure, rather than new onset of heart failure related to COVID-19 infection.

FIGURE 1
New Heart Failure After Hospital Admission

Figure 1. Admitted patients with stroke, hip fracture, or COVID-19 who had new heart failure documented within 90 days after hospital admission.

These data come from Cosmos, a HIPAA Limited Data Set of more than 111 million patients from Epic customers. This study was completed by two teams, comprised of clinicians and data scientists, that independently acquired and analyzed data. Both teams were involved in the interpretation of results and drafting of this brief. Overall, the two teams came to similar conclusions. Data are pooled from 89 healthcare organizations representing 457 hospitals and more than 9 million patients with hospital admissions during the cohort formation period.

  1. Epic Systems. Patterns of Heart Failure in COVID-19 Admitted Patients. EHRN.org. 1 April 2021. https://ehrn.org/articles/patterns-of-heart-failure-in-covid-19-admitted-patients