Henein MY, Bytyçi I, Nicoll R, Shenouda R, Ayad S, Cameli M, Vancheri F
J Clin Med 10 (10) - [2021-05-12; online 2021-05-12]
The clinical adverse events of COVID-19 among clergy worldwide have been found to be higher than among ordinary communities, probably because of the nature of their work. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of cardiac risk factors on COVID-19-related mortality and the need for mechanical ventilation in Coptic clergy. Of 1570 Coptic clergy participating in the COVID-19-Clergy study, serving in Egypt, USA and Europe, 213 had the infection and were included in this analysis. Based on the presence of systemic arterial hypertension (AH), participants were divided into two groups: Group-I, clergy with AH ( n = 77) and Group-II, without AH (n = 136). Participants' demographic indices, cardiovascular risk factors, COVID-19 management details and related mortality were assessed. Clergy with AH were older ( p < 0.001), more obese (p = 0.04), had frequent type 2 diabetes (DM) (p = 0.001), dyslipidemia (p = 0.001) and coronary heart disease (CHD) (p = 0.04) compared to those without AH. COVID-19 treatment at home, hospital or in intensive care did not differ between the patient groups (p > 0.05 for all). Clergy serving in Northern and Southern Egypt had a higher mortality rate compared to those from Europe and the USA combined (5.22%, 6.38%, 0%; p = 0.001). The impact of AH on mortality was significant only in Southern Egypt (10% vs. 3.7%; p = 0.01) but not in Northern Egypt (4.88% vs. 5.81%; p = 0.43). In multivariate analysis, CHD OR 1.607 ((0.982 to 3.051); p = 0.02) and obesity, OR 3.403 ((1.902 to 4.694); p = 0.04) predicted COVID-19 related mortality. A model combining cardiac risk factors (systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 160 mmHg, DM, obesity and history of CHD) was the most powerful independent predictor of COVID-19-related mortality, OR 3.991 ((1.919 to 6.844); p = 0.002). Almost the same model also proved the best independent multivariate predictor of mechanical ventilation OR 1.501 ((0.809 to 6.108); p = 0.001). In Coptic clergy, the cumulative impact of risk factors was the most powerful predictor of mortality and the need for mechanical ventilation.