Most reports on the declining incidence of myocardial infarction (MI) during the COVID-19 have either been anecdotal, survey results or geographically limited to areas with lockdowns. We examined the incidence of MI during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden, which has remained an open society with a different public health approach fighting COVID-19.
We assessed the incidence rate (IR) as well as the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of all MI referred for coronary angiography in Sweden using the nationwide Swedish Coronary Angiography and Angioplasty Registry (SCAAR), during the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden (1 March 2020-7 May 2020) in relation to the same days 2015-2019.
A total of 2443 MIs were referred for coronary angiography during the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in an IR 36 MIs/day (204 MIs/100 000 per year) compared with 15 213 MIs during the reference period with an IR of 45 MIs/day (254 MIs/100 000 per year) resulting in IRR of 0.80, 95% CI (0.74 to 0.86), p<0.001. Results were consistent in all investigated patient subgroups, indicating no change in patient category seeking cardiac care. Kaplan-Meier event rates for 7-day case fatality were 439 (2.3%) compared with 37 (2.9%) (HR: 0.81, 95% CI (0.58 to 1.13), p=0.21). Time to percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) was shorter during the pandemic and PCI was equally performed, indicating no change in quality of care during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced the incidence of MI referred for invasive treatment strategy. No differences in overall short-term case fatality or quality of care indicators were observed.