Low risk of COVID-19 infection found among people with congenital heart disease

October 14, 2020

DALLAS, Oct. 14, 2020 -- Results of a retrospective analysis suggest that people born with a heart defect who developed COVID-19 symptoms had a low risk of moderate or severe COVID-19 infection, according to a new article published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open access journal of the American Heart Association.

In what may be the largest study of its kind to date, researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City explored the impact of COVID-19 infection on patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). The specialty center follows more than 7,000 adult and pediatric patients born with a heart defect. Fifty-three CHD patients (median age 34) with COVID-19 infection were reported at their center between March and July 2020.

"At the beginning of the pandemic, many feared that congenital heart disease would be

as big a risk factor for COVID-19 as adult-onset cardiovascular disease" the researchers wrote. However, they are "reassured by the low number of patients treated at their center and the patients' outcomes."

Among the 43 adults and 10 children with a congenital heart defect infected with COVID-19 , additional characteristics included: 58% had complex congenital anatomy; 15% had a genetic syndrome; 11% had pulmonary hypertension; and 17% had obesity. Additional analysis found:In addition, the researchers note several limitations to their analysis:The researchers concluded, "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."
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About the American Heart Association

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