BACKGROUND: Although morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 have been widely reported, the indirect effects of the pandemic beyond 2020 on other major diseases and health service activity have not been well described. METHODS AND RESULTS: Analyses used national administrative electronic hospital records in England, Scotland, and Wales for 2016-21. Admissions and procedures during the pandemic (2020-21) related to six major cardiovascular conditions [acute coronary syndrome (ACS), heart failure (HF), stroke/transient ischaemic attack (TIA), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), aortic aneurysm (AA), and venous thromboembolism(VTE)] were compared with the annual average in the pre-pandemic period (2016-19). Differences were assessed by time period and urgency of care.In 2020, there were 31 064 (-6%) fewer hospital admissions [14 506 (-4%) fewer emergencies, 16 560 (-23%) fewer elective admissions] compared with 2016-19 for the six major cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) combined. The proportional reduction in admissions was similar in all three countries. Overall, hospital admissions returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Elective admissions remained substantially below expected levels for almost all conditions in all three countries [-10 996 (-15%) fewer admissions]. However, these reductions were offset by higher than expected total emergency admissions [+25 878 (+6%) higher admissions], notably for HF and stroke in England, and for VTE in all three countries. Analyses for procedures showed similar temporal variations to admissions. CONCLUSION: The present study highlights increasing emergency cardiovascular admissions during the pandemic, in the context of a substantial and sustained reduction in elective admissions and procedures. This is likely to increase further the demands on cardiovascular services over the coming years.
Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes
377 - 388
Humans, COVID-19, Cardiovascular Diseases, Pandemics, Secondary Care, Electronic Health Records, Venous Thromboembolism, England, Stroke, Heart Failure