911 calls for heart attack tripled in New York City during COVID-19 outbreak
New Yorkers had three times more heart attacks during the COVID-19 surge this spring, than in a typical year and they were far more likely to die from them, according a study published today.
The study tracked 911 calls in New York City from March 1, when the city reported its first case of COVID-19, through April 25, when the surge had passed.
On April 6, the single worst day, there were 306 calls from friends and neighbors reporting people who had collapsed at home or on the street, compared to a typical day when 40 to 50 New Yorkers might have a cardiovascular event outside a hospital, said Dr. David Prezant, an author of the study and chief medical officer of the New York Fire Department.
COVID-19 clearly played a role in these heart attacks but exactly what role isn't clear, Prezant said, because few autopsies or COVID-19 tests were performed on the deceased.