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Undetected early heart damage raises risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with impaired first-phase ejection fraction were nearly 5 times more likely to die compared to patients with healthier measures of this early, often undetected sign of heart failure, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal. First-phase ejection fraction is a measure of the left ventricular ejection fraction until the time of maximal ventricular contraction.

Cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease have been recognized as COVID-19 risk factors that have a high negative impact on patient outcomes, since early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Researchers hypothesized that predisposition to heart failure would be associated with more severe cases of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.