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2021 | HFSA

HFSA Releases Scientific Statement on the Intersection of COVID-19 and Heart Failure

HFSA News Coronavirus

New scientific statement outlines the impact on delivery of care and emphasizes the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for patients living with heart failure.

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND (September 1, 2021) - The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) today released a new scientific statement providing key insights on the underlying pathophysiology and management of COVID-19 infection in patients with heart failure. The statement appears in the online version of the Journal of Cardiac Failure, the official scientific journal of HFSA, and on the HFSA website. 

Developed by the HFSA Scientific Statements committee, the statement outlines the natural history of SARS-CoV2 and the heart, important discoveries, implications for clinical care, and remaining gaps in knowledge at the nexus of heart failure (HF) and COVID-19 in adults. Attention is drawn to evidence of myocardial injury as tied to viral infection; challenges in the recognition of HF in patients due to overlapping symptoms; disparities of care that persist with racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors; and the patient journey. COVID-19 vaccination for patients with HF is also investigated. 

“Patients living with heart failure represent a particularly vulnerable and high-risk group for contracting COVID-19,” said Anuradha Lala, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount and co-chair of the Scientific Statement Writing Committee. “This HFSA Scientific statement collated amongst a truly multidisciplinary group of expert clinician researchers across Heart Failure, transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, cardiothoracic surgery, pharmacy, nursing, infectious disease, clinical trials, and fellows in training serves not only to summarize accumulated data on the nexus of COVID-19 and heart failure to date but also to outline specific areas for ongoing and future research to streamline care and ultimately improve outcomes for our patients. The importance of vaccination in this high-risk group is strongly emphasized.”  

The impact on delivery of care is also recognized throughout the statement, revealing significant changes affecting cardiac transplantation activities and innovations in technology. Clinicians have been increasingly relying on telehealth for diagnosis, monitoring and treatment with the aid of various technologies developed for remote monitoring of heart failure for non-hospitalized patients to limit their risk of COVID exposure. How these strategies will impact care and outcomes in the long term remain to be studied specifically.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of healthcare, including how we care for our patients with heart failure. In addition to strains on hospital beds, diagnostic testing and ambulatory services, COVID-19 surges have impacted research and development of novel therapeutics, devices, medical interventions and strategies, all of which may have long-standing implications for our patients,” said Nancy Albert PHD, RN, FHFSA, 2020-2021 President of HFSA. “The rise of the Delta variant of COVID-19 is a reminder that this pandemic is not over, and that the trajectory is unpredictable, as new variants may create concern nationally and internationally. The many factors and implications that surround COVID-19 speak to the importance of this position statement by the HFSA- for our patients, healthcare professionals, and researchers.” 

The HFSA Scientific Statements committee is a multidisciplinary group of investigators that provides oversight and coordination of HFSA scientific statements, including generation of topics for scientific statements. The statement’s author Ankeet Bhatt, MD, MBA, and corresponding author Anuradha Lala, MD, served as co-chairs of the Scientific Statement Writing Committee. The “Coronavirus Disease-2019 and Heart Failure: A Scientific Statement from the Heart Failure Society of America” is available on the HFSA website and on the JCF website.

COVID-19 and HF at HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting

The intersection of COVID-19 and HF will be explored further during the upcoming HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting 2021, taking place September 10-13 in Denver, Colorado, and virtually.  

The session “COVID and the Heart Failure Clinician” will take place on Sunday, September 12 at 8:00 AM MT and will feature these discussions: Update on Myocarditis: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Treatment; Management of Transplantation in the COVID-19 Era; and COVID, Heart Failure, and Imaging. 

The “Coronavirus Disease-2019 and Heart Failure: A Scientific Statement From the Heart Failure Society of America” will be featured in the “Best of JCF and HF Journal Round Table” session taking place on Sunday, September 12 at 3:15 PM MT.  

Those interested in learning more about the HFSA Annual Scientific Meeting 2021 can visit https://hfsa.org/hfsa2021.