Relationship between Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease and Death and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19

Alexi Vasbinder, Chelsea Meloche, Tariq U. Azam, Elizabeth Anderson, Tonimarie Catalan, Husam Shadid, Hanna Berlin, Michael Pan, Patrick O'Hayer, Kishan Padalia, Pennelope Blakely, Ibrahim Khaleel, Erinleigh Michaud, Yiyuan Huang, Lili Zhao, Rodica Pop-Busui, Shruti Gupta, Kim Eagle, David E. Leaf, Salim S. Hayek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Preexisting cardiovascular disease (CVD) is perceived as a risk factor for poor outcomes in patients with COVID-19. We sought to determine whether CVD is associated with in-hospital death and cardiovascular events in critically ill patients with COVID-19. Methods: This study used data from a multicenter cohort of adults with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units at 68 centers across the United States from March 1 to July 1, 2020. The primary exposure was CVD, defined as preexisting coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, or atrial fibrillation/flutter. Myocardial injury on intensive care unit admission defined as a troponin I or T level above the 99th percentile upper reference limit of normal was a secondary exposure. The primary outcome was 28-day in-hospital mortality. Secondary outcomes included cardiovascular events (cardiac arrest, new-onset arrhythmias, new-onset heart failure, myocarditis, pericarditis, or stroke) within 14 days. Results: Among 5133 patients (3231 male [62.9%]; mean age 61 years [SD, 15]), 1174 (22.9%) had preexisting CVD. A total of 1178 (34.6%) died, and 920 (17.9%) had a cardiovascular event. After adjusting for age, sex, race, body mass index, history of smoking, and comorbidities, preexisting CVD was associated with a 1.15 (95% CI, 0.98-1.34) higher odds of death. No independent association was observed between preexisting CVD and cardiovascular events. Myocardial injury on intensive care unit admission was associated with higher odds of death (adjusted odds ratio, 1.93 [95% CI, 1.61-2.31]) and cardiovascular events (adjusted odds ratio, 1.82 [95% CI, 1.47-2.24]), regardless of the presence of CVD. Conclusions: CVD risk factors, rather than CVD itself, were the major contributors to outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19. The occurrence of myocardial injury, regardless of CVD, and its association with outcomes suggests it is likely due to multiorgan injury related to acute inflammation rather than exacerbation of preexisting CVD. Registration: NCT04343898;

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E008942
JournalCirculation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular disease
  • cardiovascular risk factors
  • COVID-19
  • inflammation
  • troponin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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