Recent trends in hospital admissions and outcomes of cardiac Chagas disease in the United States

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International Journal of Critical Illness and Injury Science


Background: Chagas disease (CD), caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, has been increasingly encountered as a cause of cardiovascular disease in the United States. We aimed to examine trends of hospital admissions and cardiovascular outcomes of cardiac CD (CCD). Methods: Search of 2003-2011 Nationwide Inpatient Sample database identified 949 (age 57±16 years, 51% male, 72.5% Hispanic) admissions for CCD. Results: A significant increase in the number of admissions for CCD was noted during the study period (OR=1.054; 95% CI=1.028-1.081; P< 0.0001); 72% were admitted to Southern and Western hospitals. Comorbidities included hypertension (40%), coronary artery disease (28%), hyperlipidemia (26%), tobacco use (12%), diabetes (9%), heart failure (5%) and obesity (2.2%). Cardiac abnormalities noted during hospitalization included atrial fibrillation (27%), ventricular tachycardia (23%), sinoatrial node dysfunction (5%), complete heart block (4%), valvular heart disease (6%)] and left ventricular aneurysms (5%). In-hospital mortality was 3.2%. Other major adverse events included cardiogenic shock in 54 (5.7%), cardiac arrest in 30 (3.2%), acute heart failure in 88 (9.3%), use of mechanical circulatory support in 29 (3.1%), and acute stroke in 34 (3.5%). Overall, 63% suffered at least one adverse event. Temporary (2%) and permanent (3.5%) pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (10%), and cardiac transplant (2.1%) were needed for in-hospital management. Conclusions: Despite the remaining concerns about lack of awareness of CCD in the US, an increasing number of hospital admissions were reported from 2003-2011. Serious cardiovascular abnormalities were highly prevalent in these patients and were frequently associated with fatal and nonfatal complications.

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