Pandemic-Linked Drop in Cardiac Testing Recovered in United States

Recovery seen in United States and in non-U.S. high-income countries but not in other non-U.S. facilities
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States and non-U.S. high-income countries, the reductions in cardiac testing seen in the early COVID-19 pandemic recovered by 2021, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging.

Cole B. Hirschfeld, M.D., from Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, and colleagues collected data from 669 facilities in 107 countries, including 93 facilities in 34 U.S. states to examine the impact of the pandemic on diagnostic cardiovascular procedure volumes. For each diagnostic imaging modality, participants reported volumes used at their facility for March 2019 (baseline), April 2020, and April 2021.

The researchers found that U.S. and non-U.S. facilities had similar reductions in procedure volumes in April 2020 versus baseline (−66 and −71 percent, respectively). Compared with non-U.S. facilities, U.S. facilities reported greater return to baseline in April 2021 (4 versus −6 percent), but no difference was seen when comparing U.S. facilities with non-U.S. high-income country facilities (4 versus 0 percent). There were U.S. regional differences in return to baseline between the Midwest, Northeast, South, and West (11, 9, 1, and −7 percent, respectively), but none of the factors studied significantly predicted 2021 change from prepandemic baseline.

"To address potential excess morbidity and mortality rates from cardiovascular disease in economically disadvantaged regions, a multifaceted approach is necessary, which may include strategies such as increasing telehealth infrastructure, leveraging mobile clinics, and improving health care worker training to augment recovery of cardiovascular diagnostic procedures," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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