Focus on COVID-19

Cardiovascular disease and COVID-19: summary of the Australian and New Zealand consensus statement

JOHN RAMZY, RAVINAY BHINDI, SARAH ZAMAN

Figures

© floaria bicher/ istockphoto.com
© floaria bicher/ istockphoto.com

Abstract

A consensus statement, developed by Australian and New Zealand expert bodies, was published in August 2020 to review the evidence on SARS-CoV-2 infection and cardiovascular disease and make recommendations on cardiac service provision during the COVID-19 pandemic. This summary of the statement focuses on issues relevant to GPs. 

Key Points

  • Pre-existing cardiovascular disease is a significant risk factor for the development of severe illness and death following infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
  • ACE inhibitor and angiotensin-receptor blocker therapy should be continued in patients with COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 can manifest with or be complicated by several cardiac conditions, particularly acute myocardial injury.
  • The degree of cardiac troponin elevation is a marker of prognosis in patients with COVID-19; however, routine measurements should not influence treatment decisions.
  • Therapies being used for the treatment of COVID-19 can have significant cardiac adverse effects.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the provision of cardiovascular health care and care-seeking by patients; primary care doctors are in an important position to protect the cardiovascular health of the community during the pandemic.

Figures

© floaria bicher/ istockphoto.com
© floaria bicher/ istockphoto.com