July 9, 2020

Cleveland Clinic researchers see rise in stress cardiomyopathy during COVID-19 pandemic

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

Cleveland Clinic researchers have found a significant increase in patients with stress cardiomyopathy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the study, cardiologists examined 1,914 patients coming to the Cleveland Clinic with heart symptoms between March 1 and April 30 and compared them with patients in four time periods before the pandemic.


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They found a significant increase of patients diagnosed with stress cardiomyopathy during the pandemic, compared with prepandemic incidence (7.8% vs 1.5% to 1.8%).

Those with stress cardiomyopathy during the COVID-19 pandemic had longer hospital stays compared with those hospitalized prepandemic (8 days vs 4 to 5 days).

There were no significant differences in mortality between the groups, and all of the patients diagnosed with stress cardiomyopathy tested negative for COVID-19.

The causes of stress cardiomyopathy are not fully understood; however, it is believed that a person’s reaction to physically or emotionally stressful events causes a release of stress hormones that temporarily reduce the heart’s ability to pump, the researchers say.

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