COVID May Help Trigger A-Fib in Some Patients |  Health & Fitness

COVID May Help Trigger A-Fib in Some Patients | Health & Fitness

Cara Murez

FRIDAY, Sept. 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) – About 1 in 20 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 develop the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, according to data from an American Heart Association (AHA) registry.

Having a new case of a-fib in the hospital was associated with major heart events, the study found, as well as longer hospital stays and greater need for intensive care and intubation. About 45% of those patients died while in the hospital.

“In 2001, experts predicted the number of Americans living with a-fib would double by 2050 — the situation may be more dire following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Jonathan Piccini. He is volunteer chairman of an AHA advisory group on a-fib and an associate professor at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC

“Research suggests a-fib is likely to influence more Americans and could put more people at greater risk of stroke and heart failure than previously expected,” Piccini said in an AHA news release.

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At least 2.7 million Americans have a-fib, which is a quivering or irregular heartbeat. It can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

The findings, which accounted for underlying health conditions and factors in the hospital, suggest new-onset a-fib in COVID patients is a marker of adverse clinical factors, according to the heart association. A study published in July also pointed to increased risk of heart problems in COVID patients.

The AHA offers patient resources during September, which is A-Fib Awareness Month, and throughout the year at

The study was published in the journal Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on a-fib.

SOURCE: American Heart Association, news release, Sept. 8, 2022

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