Trends in major adverse cardiac events during the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta, Canada
November 16, 2021

Dr. Shaun Goodman, from the Division of Cardiology, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, and Canadian VIGOUR Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, presented a poster at the 2021 Scientific Sessions American Heart Association Virtual Conference focusing on trends in major cardiac events during the COVID-19 pandemic in Alberta Canada. This real-world evidence study was sponsored by Amgen Canada in collaboration with Dr. Goodman, Dr. Todd Anderson, Dr. Paolo Raggi, Dr. Jean Gregoire, and Medlior.

This poster presentation reports a current and ongoing research topic that will likely only be magnified as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world. Specifically, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted cardiovascular (CV) care and outcomes globally, but limited data exist on the Canadian experience.

An overview of the COVID-19 cases and restrictions in Alberta, Canada from March 1st, 2020 to September 14th, 2020 are highlighted below:

  • The first COVID-19 case was identified in Alberta on March 5th, 2020 (later retroactive tests determined the first case was February 24th).
  • On March 17th, Alberta declared a local state of public health emergency and on March 27th the province announced non-essential businesses would be temporarily closed, elective surgeries were canceled/postponed, and gatherings limited to 15 people.
  • On May 25th, the relaunch program was initiated in all areas of the province of Alberta.
  • August 1st marked the beginning of mandated mask use in indoor public spaces.

On September 14th, 2020, Alberta recorded 1,538 active COVID-19 cases and 15,833 cumulative COVID-19 cases to date.

Our study described trends in major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE)/procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic in the province of Alberta, Canada.

A repeated cross-sectional study design captured population-level MACE from inpatient and emergency department visits among Albertan adults between March 15, 2019, and September 14, 2020. Three-month cross-sections were derived to report MACE by COVID-19 restriction periods during 2020, and using 2019/20 as a preceding control period.

Our study showcased that relative to the March-June 2019 control year, primary MACE during the initial COVID-19 restriction period (March-June 2020) decreased by 15% (n=804 patients), and by 5% (n=258 patients) during June-September 2020 period, when COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

Declines in MACE/procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during the public state of emergency from March-June 2020, are suggestive of a substantial gap in healthcare-seeking behavior and patient management that may have negative downstream implications. Ongoing analyses will further explore reported MACE/procedures up to one year after the pandemic began in future publications.