Corona Pandemic Consequences: More Cardiac Arrest During Lockdown

Corona Pandemic Consequences: More Cardiac Arrest During Lockdown

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More sudden cardiac arrests during COVID-19 pandemic

Sudden cardiac arrests have increased dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, Italian and French cardiologists report. In Paris, the number of cases has even doubled compared to previous years.

Researchers from the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou in Paris published a study that shows that the number of sudden cardiac arrests almost doubled during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. In Paris there were 26.64 cases per million people. In previous years this was 13.42 cases. The results were recently presented in the renowned journal "The Lancet Public Health".

Indirect Consequences of the Pandemic

While the direct mortality of COVID-19 is becoming increasingly better understood, the indirect impact of the pandemic on a population level has not been adequately investigated. It is currently unclear what health consequences the closure and the associated lifestyle changes have. French research now shows that the number of cases of sudden cardiac arrest has risen sharply.

Hospital data from the past few years have been compared

The doctors carried out a population-based observational study. The basis for this was hospital data from patients that had been collected in Paris and its suburbs since May 15, 2011. This data was then compared to a six-week period (March 16 to April 26, 2020) during the pandemic.

Twice as many cardiac arrests in Paris

The results show that there were approximately twice as many sudden cardiac arrests in and around Paris during the pandemic period examined as would be expected without the pandemic. Similar results show data from Lombardy in northern Italy, where there was an increase of 58 percent.

Relationships with COVID-19 unclear

Since this is an observational study, the causes of the increased cardiac arrest have not been determined. The researchers suspect that the increase could partly be related to SARS-CoV-2 infections, for example due to increased vascular inflammation, cardiac muscle inflammation, cardiac arrhythmia, thrombosis or embolism. However, it is more likely that these are indirect impacts related to closures and changes in healthcare. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Eloi Marijon, Nicole Karam, Daniel Jost, and others: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest during the COVID-19 pandemic in Paris, France: a population-based, observational study; in: The Lancet Public Health, 2020,

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