Testing people for heart-related issues may help to identify patients hospitalised with Covid-19 who face an especially high risk of dying, suggests a study.
Although SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, primarily affects the respiratory tract, it also leads to cardiovascular complications including severe arrhythmias, acute coronary syndromes, myocarditis and pulmonary embolism.
A team of researchers from the University of Salerno in Italy, examined 1,401 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 who were admitted.
About 226 (16.1 per cent) underwent transthoracic echocardiography within 48 hours of admission. In-hospital death occurred in 68 patients (30.1 per cent).
Low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), low tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, and acute respiratory distress syndrome were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.
"Clinical and echocardiographic parameters of disease severity might help to determine which patients with Covid-19 are at higher risk for in-hospital mortality," said lead author Angelo Silverio, at the University of Salerno.
The research was published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The study suggests that early LVEF may be very useful to identify patients with higher probability of fatal outcome as cardiovascular complications can negatively impact on outcomes of patients with Covid.
A growing body of research suggests that some people with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease may develop more severe symptoms and complications once infected with coronavirus.