The paradox of pulmonary arterial hypertension in Italy in the COVID-19 era: is risk of disease progression around the corner?
Roberto Badagliacca, Silvia Papa, Michele D'Alto, Stefano Ghio, Piergiuseppe Agostoni,>Pietro Ameri, Paola Argiento, Natale Daniele Brunetti, Vito Casamassima, Gavino Casu, Nadia Cedrone, Marco Confalonieri, Marco Corda, Michele Correale, Carlo D'Agostino, Lucrezia De Michele, Giulia Famoso, Giuseppe Galgano, Alessandra Greco, Carlo Mario Lombardi, Giovanna Manzi, Rosalinda Madonna, Valentina Mercurio, Massimiliano MulÃ¨, Giuseppe Paciocco, Antonella Romaniello, Emanuele Romeo, Laura Scelsi, Walter Serra, Davide Stolfo, Matteo Toma, Marco Vatrano, Patrizio Vitulo, Carmine Dario Vizza
European Respiratory Journal 2022; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.02276-2021
Objective The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) oubreak has led to significant restrictions on routine medical care. We conducted a multicenter nationwide survey of PAH patients aiming at determining the consequences of the Governance measures on PAH management and risk of poor outcome in patients with COVID-19.
Meterials and Methods Demographic data, number of in-person visits, 6-min walk and echocardiographic tests, BNP/NT-proBNP tests, WHO functional class assessment, presence of elective and non-elective hospitalisation, need for treatment escalation/initiation, newly diagnosed PAH, incidence of COVID-19 and mortality rates were considered in the present study including 25 Italian centers. Data were collected, double checked and tracked by institutional records, between the 1st March and 1st May 2020 to coincide with the first peak of COVID-19 and compared with the same time-period in 2019.
Results Among 1922 PAH patients the incidence of SARS- CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 was 1.0% and 0.46%, respectively, the latter comparable to the overall Italian population (0.34%), but associated with 100% mortality. Less systematic activities were converted into more effective remote interfacing between clinicians and PAH patients allowing lower rates of hospitalisation and related death compared with 2019 (1.2% and 0.3% versus 1.9% and 0.5%, respectively; p<0.001). High level of attention is needed to avoid the potential risk of disease progression related to less aggressive escalation of treatment and the reduction in new PAH diagnosis compared with 2019.
Conclusion Cohesive partnership of health care providers with regional public health officials is needed to prioritise PAH patients for remote monitoring by dedicated tools.
Conflict of Interest: All authors have nothing to disclose.
- Received August 18, 2021.
- Accepted February 9, 2022.
- Copyright Â©The authors 2022. For reproduction rights and permissions contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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