Congenital Heart Disease Does Not Increase COVID-19 Risk, Severity
A study analyzing COVID-19 risk and outcomes in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) found that CHD in itself was not a risk factor, but patients with a genetic syndrome and adults at advanced physiological stage were at risk for moderate/severe disease. “Despite evidence that adult-onset cardiovascular disease is a risk factor for worse outcomes among patients with COVID-19, patients with CHD without concomitant genetic syndrome, and adults who are not at advanced physiological stage, do not appear to be disproportionately impacted,” they concluded.
Young Adults with Cardiovascular Risk Factors Face Substantial COVID-19 Adverse Outcomes
Younger patients hospitalized for COVID-19 have been found to face substantial adverse clinical outcomes, according to a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Young adults with cardiovascular risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension were over-represented among those hospitalized for COVID-19 and were also more likely to experience adverse outcomes. Overall, 36.8% of patients were obese, 18.2% had diabetes, 16.1% had hypertension. Patients with morbid obesity made up 24.5% of the study cohort but comprised 41% of those who required ventilation or died. Individuals who possessed more than one of these conditions faced comparable rates of adverse outcomes with adults aged 35-64 without cardiovascular risk factors.
People of Color, and Women Remain Significantly Underrepresented in Cardiovascular Healthcare
There exist significant inequalities in cardiology, where African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans combined make up only 8% of practicing cardiologists, according to a commentary published in the journal Nature Reviews Cardiology. Gender inequalities in cardiology are also still prevalent, where in the US, UK, and Australia, women comprised only 25% of cardiology trainees, 15% of cardiologists and 4.8% of the interventional cardiologist workforce. Furthermore, on average women earn only 92% of what their male counterparts make, which translates to $2.5 million less over a 35-year career.
Empagliflozin Linked with Reduced Mortality Risk in Diabetics and Non-Diabetics
Empagliflozin was associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular death regardless of patient diabetes status, a newly published analysis suggests. According to the study results, the primary study outcome (a composite of cardiovascular death or heart failure hospitalization) occurred in 361 patients (19.4%) in the intervention group and 462 (24.7%) in the placebo group. The authors reported that the effects of empagliflozin were consistent regardless of the patients’ diabetes status or the absence of diabetes. The annual glomerular filtration rate was slower in the intervention arm compared with placebo. Patients treated with empagliflozin also had lower rates of serious renal outcomes, although uncomplicated genital tract infection was more frequently reported in patients takin empagliflozin.