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JACC Asia ; 1(2): 187-199, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298236


Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic significantly affected management of cardiovascular disease around the world. The effect of the pandemic on volume of cardiovascular diagnostic procedures is not known. Objectives: This study sought to evaluate the effects of the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on cardiovascular diagnostic procedures and safety practices in Asia. Methods: The International Atomic Energy Agency conducted a worldwide survey to assess changes in cardiovascular procedure volume and safety practices caused by COVID-19. Testing volumes were reported for March 2020 and April 2020 and were compared to those from March 2019. Data from 180 centers across 33 Asian countries were grouped into 4 subregions for comparison. Results: Procedure volumes decreased by 47% from March 2019 to March 2020, showing recovery from March 2020 to April 2020 in Eastern Asia, particularly in China. The majority of centers cancelled outpatient activities and increased time per study. Practice changes included implementing physical distancing and restricting visitors. Although COVID testing was not commonly performed, it was conducted in one-third of facilities in Eastern Asia. The most severe reductions in procedure volumes were observed in lower-income countries, where volumes decreased 81% from March 2019 to April 2020. Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic in Asia caused significant reductions in cardiovascular diagnostic procedures, particularly in low-income countries. Further studies on effects of COVID-19 on cardiovascular outcomes and changes in care delivery are warranted.

J Emerg Med ; 2022 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1983407


BACKGROUND: Women have higher mortality from acute coronary syndrome (ACS) compared with men. Women may hesitate to search for emergency care when experiencing chest pain, which delays treatment. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate the changes in emergency visits for chest pain according to sex and age during the COVID-19 pandemic period compared with previous years. METHODS: We collected data on chest pain visits (International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification codes I20 [unstable angina], I21 [myocardial infarction], and R07.1-4 [chest pain]) from all public emergency departments (EDs) in Curitiba, Brazil. We compared the weekly rates of visits per 100,000 habitants on the epidemiologic weeks 11-52 of 2020 (COVID-19 pandemic period) with the average rates of the same weeks of 2018 and 2019 using Poisson regression. RESULTS: From 2018 to 2020, 37,448 individuals presented to the ED for chest pain, of whom 8493 presented during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Compared with previous years, we observed a 23% reduction in chest pain visits (10.1 vs. 13.0 visits per 100,000 habitants/week; p < 0.001), but this reduction was greater in women than in men (30% vs. 15%; p < 0.001). This reduction was associated with age among women (27%, 31%, and 36% for < 50 years, between 50 and 69 years and > 70 years, respectively, p for age-related trend = 0.041), but not among men. CONCLUSIONS: In this population-level study of Curitiba, Brazil, the reduction in ED visits during the COVID-19 pandemic was greater in women than in men, particularly among those > 70 years of age, suggesting that the sex- and age-related disparities in health care delivery for ACS may have worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Arq Bras Cardiol ; 118(4): 745-753, 2022 04.
Article in English, Portuguese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687899


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the delivery of care for cardiovascular diseases in Latin America. However, the effect of the pandemic on the cardiac diagnostic procedure volumes has not been quantified. OBJECTIVE: To assess (1) the impact of COVID-19 on cardiac diagnostic volumes in Latin America and (2) determine its relationship with COVID-19 case incidence and social distancing measures. METHODS: The International Atomic Energy Agency conducted a worldwide survey assessing changes in cardiac diagnostic volumes resulting from COVID-19. Cardiac diagnostic volumes were obtained from participating sites for March and April 2020 and compared to March 2019. Social distancing data were collected from Google COVID-19 community mobility reports and COVID-19 incidence per country from the Our World in Data. RESULTS: Surveys were conducted in 194 centers performing cardiac diagnostic procedures, in 19 countries in Latin America. Procedure volumes decreased 36% from March 2019 to March 2020, and 82% from March 2019 to April 2020. The greatest decreases occurred in echocardiogram stress tests (91%), exercise treadmill tests (88%), and computed tomography calcium scores (87%), with slight variations between sub-regions of Latin America. Changes in social distancing patterns (p < 0.001) were more strongly associated with volume reduction than COVID-19 incidence (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 was associated with a significant reduction in cardiac diagnostic procedures in Latin America, which was more related to social distancing than to the COVID-19 incidence. Better balance and timing of social distancing measures and planning to maintain access to medical care is warranted during a pandemic surge, especially in regions with high cardiovascular mortality.

FUNDAMENTO: A pandemia de COVID-19 interferiu na prestação de atendimento a doenças cardiovasculares na América Latina. No entanto, o efeito da pandemia nos volumes de procedimentos cardíacos diagnósticos ainda não foi quantificado. OBJETIVO: Avaliar (1) o impacto de COVID-19 nos volumes de diagnóstico cardíaco na América Latina e (2) determinar sua relação com a incidência de casos de COVID-19 e as medidas de distanciamento social. MÉTODOS: A International Atomic Energy Agency realizou uma pesquisa mundial avaliando mudanças nos volumes diagnósticos cardíacos decorrentes da COVID-19. Foram obtidos os volumes diagnósticos cardíacos dos locais participantes para março e abril de 2020 e comparados com março de 2019. Foram coletados dados de distanciamento social a partir dos Relatórios de mobilidade da comunidade de Google e a incidência de COVID-19 por país a partir de Our World in Data. RESULTADOS: Foram realizadas pesquisas em 194 centros que realizam procedimentos diagnósticos cardíacos, em 19 países da América Latina. Em comparação com o mês de março de 2019, os volumes dos procedimentos diagnósticos cardíacos diminuíram 36% em março de 2020 e 82% em abril de 2020.As maiores reduções ocorreram em relação aos testes de estresse ecocardiográfico (91%), testes ergométricos de esteira (88%) e escore de cálcio por tomografia computadorizada (87%), com pequenas variações entre as sub-regiões da América Latina. As mudanças em padrões de distanciamento social (p < 0,001) estavam mais fortemente associadas com a redução do volume do que a incidência de COVID-19 (p = 0,003). CONCLUSÕES: A COVID-19 foi associada a uma redução significativa de procedimentos diagnósticos cardíacos na América Latina, a qual foi mais relacionada ao distanciamento social do que ao aumento da incidência da COVID-19. São necessários melhor equilíbrio e timing de medidas de distanciamento social e planejamento para manter o acesso ao atendimento médico durante um surto pandêmico, especialmente em regiões com alta mortalidade cardiovascular.

COVID-19 , Heart Diseases , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Heart Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Latin America/epidemiology , Pandemics , Surveys and Questionnaires