Throughout the pandemic, doctors have monitored how patients born with a heart defect, also referred to as congenital heart disease, respond to COVID-19. A study conducted at 58 international medical centers found that adults with congenital heart disease had similar rates for COVID-19 infection compared to patients without an inherited heart condition.
In this study, 24 patients out of 1,044 diagnosed with COVID-19 died (2.3%). Approximately 179 patients, 17%, were hospitalized. The researchers found differences in the heart’s anatomical structure didn’t correlate with higher rates of severe COVID-19 infection. However, measures of cardiac function, such as low oxygen levels, pulmonary hypertension, or a previous hospitalization related to heart failure, did. Male sex, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease emerged as other indicators for severe COVID-19 infection, similar to the general population. The most common COVID-19 symptoms among adults with congenital heart disease were also similar to those of other patients: fever, dry cough, and fatigue.