Outcomes and mortality associated with atrial arrhythmias among patients hospitalized with COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Lukasz Szarpak, Krzysztof J. Filipiak, Aleksandra Skwarek, Michal Pruc, Mansur Rahnama, Andrea Denegri, Marta Jachowicz, Malgorzata Dawidowska, Aleksandra Gasecka, Milosz J. Jaguszewski, Lukasz Iskrzycki, Zubaid Rafique

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in the adult population. Herein, is a systematic review with meta-analysis to determine the impact of AF/atrial flutter (AFL) on mortality, as well as individual complications in patients hospitalized with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: A systematic search of the SCOPUS, Medline, Web of Science, CINAHL and Cochrane databases was performed. The a priori primary outcome of interest was in-hospital mortality. A random--effects model was used to pool study results. Results: Nineteen studies which included 33,296 patients were involved in this meta-analysis. In-hospital mortality for AF/AFL vs. no-AF/AFL groups varied and amounted to 32.8% vs. 14.2%, respectively (risk ratio [RR]: 2.18; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.79–2.65; p < 0.001). In-hospital mortality in new onset AF/AFL compared to no-AFAFL was 22.0% vs. 18.8% (RR: 1.86; 95% CI: 1.54–2.24; p < 0.001). Intensive care unit (ICU) admission was required for 17.7% of patients with AF/AFL compared to 10.8% for patients without AF/AFL (RR: 1.94; 95% CI: 1.04–3.62; p = 0.04). Conclusions: The present study reveals that AF/AFL is associated with increased in-hospital mortality and worse outcomes in patients with COVID-19 and may be used as a negative prognostic factor in these patients. Patients with AF/AFL are at higher risk of hospitalization in ICU. The presence of AF/AFL in individuals with COVID-19 is associated with higher risk of complications, such as bleeding, acute kidney injury and heart failure. AF/AFL may be associated with unfavorable outcomes due to the hemodynamic compromise of cardiac function itself or hyperinflammatory state typical of these conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number86860
Pages (from-to)33-43
Number of pages11
JournalCardiology journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2022


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • COVID-19
  • Meta-analysis
  • New onset atrial fibrillation
  • Outcome
  • Systematic review

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