Impact of COVID-19 pandemic and pandemic-related social restrictions on clinical course of patients treated for acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is unclear. In the present study presentation and outcome of patients with STEMI in the year 2020 were compared with the years before in a German registry that includes all patients hospitalized for acute STEMI in a region with approximately 1 million inhabitants. In the year 2020 726 patients with STEMI were registered compared with 10.226 patients in the years 2006 to 2019 (730 ± 57 patients per year). No significant differences were observed between the groups regarding age, gender and medical history of patients. However, in the year 2020 a significantly higher rate of patients admitted with cardiogenic shock (21.9% vs 14.2%, p <0.01) and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) (14.3% vs 11.1%, p <0.01) was observed. The rate of patients with subacute myocardial infarction (14.3% vs 11.6%, p <0.05) was elevated in 2020. Hospital mortality increased by 52% from the years 2006 to 2019 (8.4%) to the year 2020 (12.8%, p <0.01). Only 4 patients (0.6%) with STEMI in the year 2020 had SARS-CoV-2 infection, none of those died in-hospital. In conclusion, in the year 2020 a highly significant increase of STEMI-patients admitted to hospital with advanced infarction and poor prognosis was observed. As the structure of the emergency network to treat patients with STEMI was unchanged during the study period, the most obvious reason for these changes was COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdown and the fear of many people to contact medical staff during the pandemic.
Harm Wienbergen, Tina Retzlaff, Johannes Schmucker, Luis Alberto Mata Marin, Stephan Rühle, Daniela Garstka, Rico Osteresch, Andreas Fach, Rainer Hambrecht