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1.
Minerva Cardiol Angiol ; 70(2): 160-166, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786557

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has rapidly spread globally. Due to different testing strategies, under-detection of positive subjects and COVID-19-related-deaths remains common. Aim of this analysis was to assess the real impact of COVID-19 through the analysis of 2020 Italian all-cause mortality data compared to historical series. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 2020 and 2015-2019 all-cause mortality data released by the Italian National Institute for Statistics (ISTAT) for the time period January 1st-March 21st. This preliminary sample included 1084 Italian municipalities showing at least 10 deaths during the above-mentioned timeframe and an increase in mortality of more than 20% as compared to the previous five years (2015-2019), with a resulting coverage of 21% of Italian population. The difference between 2020 observed and expected deaths (mean of weekly deaths in 2015-2019) was computed, together with mortality rate ratio (MRR) for each of the four weeks following detection of the first autochthonous COVID-19 case in Italy (February 23rd, 2020 - March 21st, 2020), as well as for this entire timeframe. Subgroup analysis by age groups was also performed. RESULTS: Overall MRR was 1.79 [1.75-1.84], with an observed excess mortality of 8750 individuals in the investigated sample, which in itself outweighs Italian Civil Protection report of only 4,825 COVID-19-related deaths across Italy, as of March 21. Subgroup analysis did not show any difference in mortality rate in '0-14 years' age group, while MRRs were significantly increased in older age groups, in particular in patients >75 years (MRR 1.84 [1.79-1.89]). In addition, week-by-week analysis showed a progressive increase in MRR during this period, peaking in the last week (March 15th, 2020 - March 21st, 2020) with an estimated value of 2.65 [2.53-2.78]. CONCLUSIONS: The analysis of all-cause mortality data in Italy indicates that reported COVID-19-related deaths are an underestimate of the actual death toll. All-cause death should be seen as the epidemiological indicator of choice to assess the real mortality impact exerted by SARS-CoV-2, given that it also best reflects the toll on frail patient subsets (e.g. the elderly or those with cardiovascular disease).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Aged , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Nutrients ; 12(6)2020 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725884

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Sars-CoV-2) global pandemic is a devastating event that is causing thousands of victims every day around the world. One of the main reasons of the great impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on society is its unexpected spread, which has not allowed an adequate preparation. The scientific community is fighting against time for the production of a vaccine, but it is difficult to place a safe and effective product on the market as fast as the virus is spreading. Similarly, for drugs that can directly interfere with viral pathways, their production times are long, despite the great efforts made. For these reasons, we analyzed the possible role of non-pharmacological substances such as supplements, probiotics, and nutraceuticals in reducing the risk of Sars-CoV-2 infection or mitigating the symptoms of COVID-19. These substances could have numerous advantages in the current circumstances, are generally easily available, and have negligible side effects if administered at the already used and tested dosages. Large scientific evidence supports the benefits that some bacterial and molecular products may exert on the immune response to respiratory viruses. These could also have a regulatory role in systemic inflammation or endothelial damage, which are two crucial aspects of COVID-19. However, there are no specific data available, and rigorous clinical trials should be conducted to confirm the putative benefits of diet supplementation, probiotics, and nutraceuticals in the current pandemic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/diet therapy , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Diet , Dietary Supplements , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/diet therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Probiotics/therapeutic use , Ascorbic Acid/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vitamin D/therapeutic use
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318537

ABSTRACT

Unexplained infertility has represented about 22-28 percent of infertility causes (1)The diagnosis is based on exclusion of common causes using standard fertility investigation. Over the years the causes of unexplained infertility or subfertility have been identified in pre-existing associated pathologies, such as alterations of the immune system, thyroid dysfunctions, coagulopathies, reducing the unexplained infertility to 15% of infertility causes

4.
Panminerva Med ; 63(3): 324-331, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504553

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: New messenger RNA (mRNA) and adenovirus-based vaccines (AdV) against Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have entered large scale clinical trials. Since healthcare professionals (HCPs) and armed forces personnel (AFP) represent a high-risk category, they act as a suitable target population to investigate vaccine-related side effects, including headache, which has emerged as a common complaint. METHODS: We investigated the side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines among HCPs and AFP through a 38 closed-question international survey. The electronic link was distributed via e-mail or via Whatsapp to more than 500 contacts. Responses to the survey questions were analyzed with bivariate tests. RESULTS: A total of 375 complete surveys have been analyzed. More than 88% received an mRNA vaccine and 11% received AdV first dose. A second dose of mRNA vaccine was administered in 76% of individuals. No severe adverse effects were reported, whereas moderate reactions and those lasting more than 1 day were more common with AdV (P=0.002 and P=0.024 respectively). Headache was commonly reported regardless of the vaccine type, but less frequently, with shorter duration and lower severity that usually experienced by participants, without significant difference irrespective of vaccine type. CONCLUSIONS: Both mRNA and AdV COVID-19 vaccines were safe and well tolerated in a real-life subset of HCPs and AFP subjects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , COVID-19/prevention & control , Headache/chemically induced , Vaccination/adverse effects , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/transmission , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Headache/diagnosis , Headache/epidemiology , Health Care Surveys , Health Personnel , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Occupational Health , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Time Factors , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
5.
Minerva Cardiol Angiol ; 70(1): 40-55, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1498264

ABSTRACT

Cardiovascular medicine is facing several challenges in the current era, dominated by the rapid spread of a previously unknown virus around the world. Indeed, the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic set the course of cardiovascular science and education in an extraordinary way, hogging the attention of the medical community. Notably, while COVID-19 impacted research progress, there has been considerable effort in exploring topics of great interest, from the management of acute coronary syndromes to new horizons in the treatment of heart failure, from novelties in the surgical treatment of cardiovascular disease to new data on implantable cardiac devices, and from new diagnostic applications of multimodal imaging techniques to relevant basic science findings. Minerva Cardiology and Angiology, formerly Minerva Cardioangiologica, has strived to inform its readers on these topics and novelties, aiming for a succinct yet poignant melding of timeliness and accuracy. Accordingly, the purpose of this narrative review is to highlight and summarize the major research and review articles published during 2020. In particular, we provide a broad overview of the novelties identifying six major areas of interest in the field of cardiovascular sciences in which new evidences have contributed to improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vessels diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiology , Cardiovascular Diseases , Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Panminerva Med ; 2021 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1076992

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic with the stay-at-home orders and lockdown has dramatically forced athletes to stop team training and competitions, causing deep changes in habits and lifestyle. Aim of this study was to evaluate in a retrospective single center study the cardiovascular (CV) health and fitness of elite football player after COVID-19 lockdown in Italy and to compare such findings with the 2019 off-season period, in order to identify potential differences in the CV features and outcomes. METHODS: All 29 professional Football players of the first male team were enrolled before resuming training and competition after COVID-19 lockdown and underwent several exams including physical examination, resting and stress electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography, spirometry and blood tests. RESULTS: Median age was 27 years (23; 31), with no athlete being COVID-19 positive at the time of the evaluation. In comparison with the usual off-season 2-month detraining, significant differences were found for left ventricular (LV) mass (189g [172; 212] vs. 181g [167; 206], p=0.024) and LV mass index for body surface area (94g/m2 [85; 104] vs 88g/m2 [79.5; 101.5], p=0.017), while LV mass/fat free mass remained unchanged (2.8 g/Kg [2.6; 2.9] vs 2.9 g/Kg [2.6; 3.2], p=0.222). Respiratory function and metabolic profile were improved, while no significant changes were found in ECG findings, at rest and during exercise. CONCLUSIONS: Prolonged abstinence from training and competitions induced by lockdown elicited significant changes in comparison with off-season in parameters ascribable to detraining, as the changes in LV mass, in respiratory function and in metabolic profile.

10.
Panminerva Med ; 62(4): 252-259, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044555

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Strong epidemiologic evidence has highlighted the role of pollution, on top of adverse climate features, as a novel cardiovascular risk factor. However, mechanistic proof that reducing pollution may be beneficial to prevent atherothrombotic events is limited. We aimed at appraising the impact of temporary traffic bans in a large metropolitan area on the risk of acute coronary syndromes. METHODS: Aggregate and anonymized data from 15 tertiary cardiac care centers were obtained detailing precoronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) daily cases of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI), including those treated with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Data on pollutants and climate were sought for the same days. Mixed level regression was used to compare the week before vs after the traffic ban (Fortnight analysis), the 3 days before vs. after (Weekly analysis) and the Sunday before vs. after (Sunday analysis). RESULTS: A total of 8 days of temporary traffic bans were included, occurring between 2017 and 2020, totaling 802 STEMI and 1196 NSTEMI in the Fortnight analysis, 382 STEMI and 585 in the Weekly analysis, and 148 STEMI and 210 NSTEMI in the Sunday analysis.Fortnight and Sunday analyses did not disclose a significant impact of traffic ban on STEMI or NSTEMI (all P>0.05). Conversely, Weekly analysis showed non-significant changes for STEMI, but a significant decrease in daily NSTEMI when comparing the 3 days before the traffic ban with the ban day (P=0.043), as well as the 3 days before vs. the 3 days after the ban (P=0.025). No statistically significant effect of traffic ban was found at Fortnight, Weekly or Sunday analyses for daily mean concentrations of benzene, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter (PM) <2.5 µm or PM <10 µm (all P>0.05). However, minimum daily concentrations showed a significant reduction of ozone during the ban in comparison to the week preceding it (P=0.034), nitric oxide during the ban in comparison to the 3 days preceding it (P=0.046), and an increase in benzene during the ban in comparison to the Sunday before (P=0.039). CONCLUSIONS: Temporary traffic ban may favorably reduce coronary atherothrombotic events, and in particular NSTEMI, even if not globally and immediately impacting on environmental pollution. Further controlled studies are required to confirm and expand this hypothesis-generating results.


Subject(s)
Acute Coronary Syndrome/epidemiology , Motor Vehicles , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
11.
Int J Cardiol ; 329: 251-259, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002620

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused an unprecedented change in the apparent epidemiology of acute coronary syndromes (ACS). However, the interplay between this disease, changes in pollution, climate, and aversion to activation of emergency medical services represents a challenging conundrum. We aimed at appraising the impact of COVID-19, weather, and environment features on the occurrence of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) in a large Italian region and metropolitan area. METHODS AND RESULTS: Italy was hit early on by COVID-19, such that state of emergency was declared on January 31, 2020, and national lockdown implemented on March 9, 2020, mainly because the accrual of cases in Northern Italy. In order to appraise the independent contribution on changes in STEMI and NSTEMI daily rates of COVID-19, climate and pollution, we collected data on these clinical events from tertiary care cardiovascular centers in the Lazio region and Rome metropolitan area. Multilevel Poisson modeling was used to appraise unadjusted and adjusted effect estimates for the daily incidence of STEMI and NSTEMI cases. The sample included 1448 STEMI and 2040 NSTEMI, with a total of 2882 PCI spanning 6 months. Significant reductions in STEMI and NSTEMI were evident already in early February 2020 (all p<0.05), concomitantly with COVID-19 spread and institution of national countermeasures. Changes in STEMI and NSTEMI were inversely associated with daily COVID-19 tests, cases, and/or death (p<0.05). In addition, STEMI and NSTEMI incidences were associated with daily NO2, PM10, and O3 concentrations, as well as temperature (p<0.05). Multi-stage and multiply adjusted models highlighted that reductions in STEMI were significantly associated with COVID-19 data (p<0.001), whereas changes in NSTEMI were significantly associated with both NO2 and COVID-19 data (both p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Reductions in STEMI and NSTEMI in the COVID-19 pandemic may depend on different concomitant epidemiologic and pathophysiologic mechanisms. In particular, recent changes in STEMI may depend on COVID-19 scare, leading to excess all-cause mortality, or effective reduced incidence, whereas reductions in NSTEMI may also be due to beneficial reductions in NO2 emissions in the lockdown phase.


Subject(s)
Acute Coronary Syndrome/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Environmental Pollution/adverse effects , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Weather , Aged , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors
12.
J Thromb Thrombolysis ; 52(1): 105-110, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002136

ABSTRACT

Patients with Coronavirus-associated disease-2019 (COVID-19) display alterations of the hemostatic system and the presence of a prothrombotic status frequently leading to vascular complications. However, the impact of COVID-19 on platelet activity, aggregation and agglutination still needs to be clarified. We measured total levels of von Willebrand factor (vWF) and vWF binding to the platelet glycoprotein (Gp) complex (GPIb-IX-V), in a cohort of COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit of our Institution. Moreover, we evaluated platelet aggregation in response to agonists (ADP, collagen, arachidonic acid) and platelet agglutination in response to ristocetin. We found that levels of vWF antigen and the active form of vWF binding to platelets (vWF:RCo), were markedly increased in these patients. These results were associated with higher agglutination rates induced by ristocetin, thereby indirectly indicating an increased capability of vWF to bind to platelets. Conversely, we found that platelet aggregation in response to both ADP and collagen was lower in COVID-19 patients compared to healthy volunteers. This study shows that COVID-19 is associated with increased vWF-induced platelet agglutination but reduced platelet responsivity to aggregation stimuli. Our findings have translational relevance since platelet adhesion to vWF may represent a marker to predict possible complications and better delineate therapeutic strategies in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Blood Platelets/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , Platelet Aggregation , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Agglutination , Blood Platelets/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Platelet Function Tests , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/diagnosis , Thrombosis/virology
13.
Antioxidants (Basel) ; 9(11)2020 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-918171

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has generated the ongoing coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, still with an uncertain outcome. Besides pneumonia and acute lung injury (ALI) or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), other features became evident in the context of COVID-19. These includes endothelial and coagulation dysfunction with disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), along with the occurrence of neurological alterations. The multi-system nature of such viral infection is a witness to the exploitation and impairment of ubiquitous subcellular and metabolic pathways for the sake of its life-cycle, ranging from host cell invasion, replication, transmission, up to a cytopathic effect and overt systemic inflammation. In this frame, alterations in cell-clearing systems of the host are emerging as a hallmark in the pathogenesis of various respiratory viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Indeed, exploitation of the autophagy and proteasome pathways might contribute not only to the replication of the virus at the site of infection but also to the spreading of either mature virions or inflammatory mediators at both cellular and multisystem levels. In this frame, besides a pharmacological therapy, many researchers are wondering if some non-pharmacological substances might counteract or positively modulate the course of the infection. The pharmacological properties of natural compounds have gained increasing attention in the field of alternative and adjunct therapeutic approaches to several diseases. In particular, several naturally-occurring herbal compounds (mostly polyphenols) are reported to produce widespread antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant effects while acting as autophagy and (immuno)-proteasome modulators. This article attempts to bridge the perturbation of autophagy and proteasome pathways with the potentially beneficial effects of specific phytochemicals and flavonoids in viral infections, with a focus on the multisystem SARS-CoV-2 infection.

14.
Minerva Cardioangiol ; 68(4): 339-346, 2020 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-890930

ABSTRACT

In recent months SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly throughout the world. The case fatality rate is higher in cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Other comorbidities do not seem to confer the same risk, therefore the understanding of the relationship between infection and cardiovascular system could be a crucial point for the fight against the virus. A great interest is directed towards the angiotensin 2 converting enzyme (ACE 2) which is the SARS-CoV-2 receptor and creates important connections between the virus replication pathway, the cardiovascular system and blood pressure. All cardiovascular conditions share an imbalance of the renin angiotensin system in which ACE 2 plays a central role. In the early pandemic period, much confusion has appeared about the management of therapy with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers especially in infected patients and in those at risk of critical illness in case of infection. In this article we will try to reorder the major opinions currently emerging on this topic.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers/therapeutic use , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Animals , Antihypertensive Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Renin-Angiotensin System
17.
Curr Atheroscler Rep ; 22(7): 29, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592428

ABSTRACT

Transcatheter interventions for structural heart disease (SHD) now represent an effective alternative to surgery in selected patients. A clear premise is that delay in or neglect of treating patients in need of SHD intervention is associated with unavoidable morbidity and mortality because many of them have life-threatening conditions. However, the recent outbreak of coronavirus-associated disease-2019 (COVID-19) is placing an unprecedented strain on patients, physicians and world healthcare systems that resulted in deferral of elective and semi-elective procedures, such as SHD, and delay in the treatment of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We hereby present the case for a focused resumption of transcatheter SHD interventions in selected centers, in order to preserve patient safety and avoid that death rate will extend far beyond that directly associated with COVID-19. A similar approach should be applied to the invasive management of ACS. Indeed, a proactive and vigilant stance on managing SHD and ACS is crucial, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the risk of overlooking severely sick patients or postponing life-saving treatments is high. If such corrective measures are not put into effect, we may expect in the near future an excess of avoidable fatalities indirectly due to COVID-19 but truly caused by cardiovascular diseases, as well as an exceedingly large number of patients with severe heart failure leading to shorter life expectancy, reduced quality of life and increased healthcare cost.


Subject(s)
Acute Coronary Syndrome/therapy , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Management , Heart Diseases/therapy , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Acute Coronary Syndrome/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Comorbidity , Heart Diseases/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Minerva Cardioangiol ; 68(5): 368-372, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-125105

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Infection due to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), i.e. coronavirus-associated disease 2019 (COVID-2019), may occasionally lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), requiring in the most severe cases extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Yet, limited data, if any, are currently available on the role of ECMO in critically ill patients with COVID-19. We aimed at providing a snapshot analysis of ECMO for COVID-19 in Europe. METHODS: Freely available data on ECMO in COVID-19 patients reported by the European Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (EuroELSO) were extracted and analyzed after conversion into long format. The primary outcome was the incidence of death during ECMO. Bootstrapping and logistic regression were used for inferential estimates. RESULTS: Details from a total of 333 patients treated in 90 institutions spanning 17 countries were obtained, with 22% women and mean age of 52 years. Death rate was 17.1% (95% confidence interval: 13.1% to 21.1%), even if significant between-center differences were found, with some institutions reporting 100% case fatality. Exploratory inferential analysis showed no nominally statistically significant association between death and gender (P=0.788), but a significant association was found with age, mainly due to increased case fatality in subjects >60 years (odds ratio: 4.80 [95% confidence interval 1.64 to 14.04], P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: ECMO may play an important role in critically ill patients with COVID-19 refractory to less invasive treatments. The increased risk of early death in older patients may be used to prioritize ECMO indication in resource-conscious settings, if confirmed externally.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Critical Illness/therapy , Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Europe/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Incidence , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/complications , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/therapy , Sex Factors
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