HealthDay News — COVID-19 infection is associated with significant mean QTc prolongation at days 2 and 5 of hospitalization, according to a study published online April 23 in JAMA Network Open.

Geoffrey A. Rubin, MD, from the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues conducted a cohort study involving 3050 patients aged 18 years and older who underwent SARS-CoV-2 testing and had electrocardiograms (ECGs) from March 1 through May 1, 2020.

Overall, 965 patients had more than 2 ECGs and were included in the study; 76.0% and 24.0% were with and without COVID-19, respectively. The researchers found that by 2-day and 5-day multivariable models, COVID-19 infection was associated with significant mean QTc prolongation from baseline. Compared with COVID-19-negative status, COVID-19 infection was independently associated with a modeled mean 27.32 millisecond increase in QTc at 5 days. Compared with patients without COVID-19, more patients with COVID-19 not receiving hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin had QTc of 500 milliseconds or greater (25.0% vs 10.8%). In a multivariable analysis, QTc prolongation was seen in association with age 80 years and older vs younger than 50 years, severe chronic kidney disease vs no chronic kidney disease, elevated high-sensitivity troponin levels, and elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels.


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“COVID-19 infection was independently associated with longer modeled QTc intervals from baseline, and patients at higher risk were 80 years or older, had elevated high-sensitivity troponin, or had significant kidney dysfunction,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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