It provides evidence that people have stayed away from the emergency room even with acute heart attack symptoms. And some may have died as a result.
Researchers from the Providence Heart Institute system based in the US northwest looked at the records of more than 15,000 heart attack patients from between December 30 and May 16 of this year.
They found “important changes” in heart attack hospitalization rates. Patients also fared worse during the early and later parts of the pandemic, they reported Friday in the medical journal JAMA Cardiology.
And patients with the most serious type of heart attack appeared to be more than twice as likely to die at one point.
There was a substantial decrease in hospitalizations early in the pandemic, with the case rates starting to fall on February 23.