Hospital Admissions Due to Heart Failure in A Tertiary Greek General Hospital - In the Era of COVID-19

Author(s): Christina Chrysohoou, Konstantinos Tsioufis, Ioannis Leontsinis, Maria Kariori, Ioannis Dalakouras, Georgios Charalambus, Aggelos Papanikolaou, Panagiotis Tolis, Christos Fragoulis, Demosthenes Pan

The aim of the present study was to explore hospital admissions due to heart failure in the cardiology department of a tertiary General Hospital in Athens, Greece, that does not hospitalize SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. The daily number of admissions at Cardiology Wards and Cardiology Intensive Care Unit were retrieved from hospital’s database (January 1st – April 30th, 2018, 2019 and 2020). The visits at the hospital were significantly reduced by 41.1% in March 2020 and by 32.7% in April 2020 as compared to January (p for linear trend <0·001). As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increased in Greece (i.e., from February 26th to April 2nd) the number of visits decreased (p=0.01), whereas, the opposite observed in the period afterwards (p=0.01). The number of admitted heart failure patients in March 2020 was the lowest compared to the entire period (n = 43 cases vs. 95%CI 53-92, p<0·001), whereas the number of those admitted in April was higher compared to March, but still lower compared to the entire studied period (n = 56 cases, p<0·001). However, although hospital admissions due to heart failure showed a declining trend following the overall admissions observed during the COVID-19 period, the percent of heart failure patients among all those admitted in March and April 2020 was 17% and 20%, respectively, and was higher compared to January and February of the same year, as well as the highest throughout the entire studied period 2018 – 2020 (range from 13% to 20%).

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