A new study suggests that COVID-19 patients in intensive care units (ICU) are more likely to suffer from cardiac arrests or arrhythmias caused by systemic issues.

New research found that COVID-19 patients in ICU were 10 times more likely to experience arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms) than COVID-19 patients hospitalized but not admitted to ICU.

The study found that cardiac arrests — a condition in which the heart stops beating suddenly — and arrhythmias in ICU were the consequence of a systemic form of COVID-19, rather than the direct effect of infection with the virus that causes the disease.

Researchers believe that cardiac arrests and arrhythmias are likely the consequence of systemic issues, not solely the direct effect of COVID-19 infection.

In general, after factoring in demographic variables and comorbidities, the researchers found that the patients admitted to ICU were more likely to experience arrhythmias and cardiac arrests than those hospitalized with COVID-19 but not requiring intensive care.

Medical reference: Medical News Today