Brief report: Effect of cardiac multi-morbidity on COVID hospitalization outcomes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



PloS one








BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has stretched healthcare resources thin and led to significant morbidity and mortality. There have been no studies utilizing national data to investigate the role of cardiac risk factors on outcomes of COVID hospitalizations. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of cardiac multimorbidity on healthcare utilization and outcomes among COVID hospitalizations during the first year of the pandemic. METHODS: Using the national inpatient sample (NIS), we identified all adult hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of COVID in 2020, using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification codes (ICD010-CM). Coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, previous stroke, and atrial fibrillation were then identified as cardiac comorbidities using ICD-10-CM codes. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the effect of cardiac multimorbidity on mortality and mechanical ventilation. RESULTS: We identified 1,005,040 primary COVID admissions in 2020. Of these admissions, 216,545 (20.6%) had CAD, 413,195 (39.4%) had DM, 176,780 (16.8%) had HF, 159,700 (15.2%) had AF, 30735 (2.9%) had PVD, and 25,155 (2.4%) had a previous stroke. When stratified by number of comorbidities, 428390 (40.8%) had 0 comorbidities, 354960 (33.8%) had 1, 161225 (15.4%) had 2, and 105465 (10.0%) had 3+ comorbidities. COVID hospitalizations with higher cardiac multimorbidity had higher mortality rates (p<0.001) higher MV rates (p<0.001). In our multivariable regression, these associations remained with increasing odds for mortality with each stepwise increase in cardiac multimorbidity (1: OR 1.48 (1.45-1.50); 2: OR 2.13 (2.09-2.17); 3+: OR 2.43 (2.38-2.48), p<0.001, all). CONCLUSIONS: Our study is the first national examination of the impact of cardiac comorbidities on COVID outcomes. A higher number of cardiac comorbidities was associated with significantly higher rates of MV and in-hospital mortality, independent of age. Future, more granular, and longitudinal studies are needed to further examine these associations.


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