Doctor June Sullivan, DMSc, PA-C
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was declared a global pandemic in March 2020 resulting in several unprecedented medical, social, political, psychological, and economic impacts. Little was known about the virus’ virulence during the initial stages of the pandemic. However, it is now known to cause several long-term sequelae, known as long COVID or post-COVID conditions. Many of these sequelae have been noted to be extrapulmonary and manifest in several organ systems throughout the body.
Studies conducted since the pandemic have begun to show an increased risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) developing following hospitalization in patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2. AF has been shown to worsen the severity of symptoms associated with the virus and lengthen the inpatient course. This is thought to occur secondary to the critically ill conditions of this patient population and the arrhythmia’s progressively degenerative nature. Recent studies have also concluded that hospitalized patients who develop atrial tachyarrhythmias are at a higher risk of requiring intensive care, the need for ventilation, and also experience higher mortality rates. Understanding the prevalence of AF developing while hospitalized and recovering from a SARS-CoV-2 infection may further determine the implications such as worsening in severity, clinical course, quality of life, and patient long-term prognosis.
Hock D. Prevalence of Atrial Fibrillation Following Hospitalization with SARS-CoV-2. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2023; 5(1).
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