Cardiac Complications in Patients Hospitalised With COVID-19 in Australia

Kunwardeep S Bhatia, Hari P Sritharan, Justin Chia, Jonathan Ciofani, Daniel Nour, Karina Chui, Sheran Vasanthakumar, Pavithra Jayadeva, Dhanvee Kandadai, Usaid Allahwala, Rohan Bhagwandeen, David B Brieger, Christopher Y P Choong, Anthony Delaney, Girish Dwivedi, Benjamin Harris, Graham Hillis, Bernard Hudson, George Javorsky, Nigel JepsonLogan Kanagaratnam, George Kotsiou, Astin Lee, Sidney T H Lo, Andrew I MacIsaac, Brendan M McQuillan, Isuru Ranasinghe, Antony Walton, James Weaver, William Wilson, Andy Yong, John Zhu, William van Gaal, Leonard Kritharides, Clara Chow, Ravinay Bhindi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Describe the incidence of cardiac complications in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in Australia.

DESIGN: Observational cohort study.

SETTING: Twenty-one (21) Australian hospitals.

PARTICIPANTS: Consecutive patients aged ≥18 years admitted to hospital with laboratory confirmed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of cardiac complications.

RESULTS: Six-hundred-and-forty-four (644) hospitalised patients (62.5±20.1 yo, 51.1% male) with COVID-19 were enrolled in the study. Overall in-hospital mortality was 14.3%. Twenty (20) (3.6%) patients developed new atrial fibrillation or flutter during admission and 9 (1.6%) patients were diagnosed with new heart failure or cardiomyopathy. Three (3) (0.5%) patients developed high grade atrioventricular (AV) block. Two (2) (0.3%) patients were clinically diagnosed with pericarditis or myopericarditis. Among the 295 (45.8%) patients with at least one troponin measurement, 99 (33.6%) had a peak troponin above the upper limit of normal (ULN). In-hospital mortality was higher in patients with raised troponin (32.3% vs 6.1%, p<0.001). New onset atrial fibrillation or flutter (6.4% vs 1.0%, p=0.001) and troponin elevation above the ULN (50.3% vs 16.4%, p<0.001) were more common in patients 65 years and older. There was no significant difference in the rate of cardiac complications between males and females.

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation in Australia, troponin elevation was common but clinical cardiac sequelae were uncommon. The incidence of atrial arrhythmias and troponin elevation was greatest in patients 65 years and older.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1834-1840
Number of pages7
JournalHeart, Lung & Circulation
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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