Emergency department admissions for myocardial infarction and stroke in France during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic: national temporal trends and regional disparities

Publié le 14 avril 2021
Mis à jour le 4 février 2022

Background: the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the national lockdown have led to significant changes in the use of emergency care by the French population. Aims: to describe the national and regional temporal trends in emergency department (ED) admissions for myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke, before, during and after the first national lockdown. Methods: the weekly numbers of ED admissions for MI and stroke were collected from the OSCOUR® network, which covers 93.3% of all ED admissions in France. National and regional incidence rate ratios from 02 February until 31 May (2020 versus 2017-2019) were estimated using Poisson regression for MI and stroke, before, during and after lockdown. Results: a decrease in ED admissions was observed for MI (-20% for ST-segment elevation MI and-25% for non-ST-segment elevation MI) and stroke (-18% for ischaemic and-22% for haemorrhagic) during the lockdown. The decrease became significant earlier for stroke than for MI. No compensatory increase in ED admissions was observed at the end of the lockdown for these diseases. Important regional disparities in ED admissions were observed, without correlation with the regional levels of COVID-19 cases. The impact of lockdown on ED admissions was particularly significant in six regions (Ile-de France, Occitanie, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Nouvelle Aquitaine, Hauts-de-France and Bretagne). Conclusions: the decrease in ED admissions for MI and stroke observed during the lockdown was probably caused by fear of COVID-19 and augmented by the lockdown, and was heterogeneous across the French territory. ED admissions were slow to return to the usual levels from previous years, without a compensatory increase. These results underline the need to reinforce messages directed at the population to encourage them to seek care without delay in case of cardiovascular symptoms.

Auteur : Olié Valérie, Carcaillon-Bentata Laure, Thiam Marie-Michèle, Haeghebaert Sylvie, Caserio-Schönemann Céline
Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases, 2021, p. 1-10