Anticoagulation Use as an Independent Predictor of Mortality and Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: A Multicenter Retrospective Analysis

Nathan DeRon, Lawrence Hoang, Kristopher Aten, Sri Prathivada, Manavjot Sidhu


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with increased incidence of cardiac arrhythmias and thrombotic events. The adverse cardiovascular outcomes related to ambulatory anticoagulation (AC) therapy in COVID-19 patients are unknown. The goal of this study was to identify the effects of AC use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Methods: This is a multicenter, retrospective study that identified 2,801 hospitalized COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-positive patients admitted between March 2020 and July 2021. Of these, 375 (13.4%) were ambulatory AC users. Data were collected from the electronic health records of hospitalized patients. Mortality included in-hospital death and hospice referral. Major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) included acute heart failure (HF), myocardial infarction (MI), myocarditis, pulmonary embolism (PE), deep venous thrombosis (DVT), pericardial effusion, pericarditis, stroke, shock, and cardiac tamponade. A Chi-square test was used to analyze categorical variables, and multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to account for comorbidities.

Results: AC non-users exhibited a higher incidence of mortality than AC users (13.9% vs. 7.7%, P = 0.001). However, MACE incidence was higher in AC users than AC non-users (44.8% vs. 26.8%, P < 0.001). The higher MACE incidence was driven by higher rates of acute HF (8.3% vs. 2.5%, P < 0.001), MI (26.9% vs. 18.2%, P < 0.001), PE/DVT (16.3% vs. 2.7%, P < 0.001), pericardial effusion (1.6% vs. 0.5%, P = 0.025), and stroke (2.9% vs. 1.2%, P = 0.018). After multivariate logistic regression, MACE incidence remained higher (odds ratio (OR) = 1.61, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.27 - 2.05, P < 0.001) and all-cause mortality rate lower (OR = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.23 - 0.52, P < 0.001) in AC users.

Conclusions: Ambulatory AC use is associated with increased MACEs but decreased all-cause mortality in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. This study will help physicians identify patients at risk of cardiovascular mortality and direct management based on the identified risk.

Cardiol Res. 2023;14(5):370-378


Anticoagulation; Mortality; Major adverse cardiac events; COVID-19; Ambulatory anticoagulation

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