J Cardiovasc Med (Hagerstown). 2023 Sep 6. doi: 10.2459/JCM.0000000000001536. Online ahead of print.
AIMS: Data regarding the risk of incident pericarditis in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recovered patients are lacking. We determined the risk of incident pericarditis after COVID-19 infection by performing a systematic review and meta-analysis of available data.
METHODS: Following the PRISMA guidelines, we searched MEDLINE and Scopus to locate all articles published up to 11 February 2023 reporting the risk of incident pericarditis in patients who had recovered from COVID-19 infection compared to noninfected patients (controls) defined as those who did not experience the disease over the same follow-up period. Pericarditis risk was evaluated using the Mantel-Haenszel random effects models with hazard ratio (HR) as the effect measure with 95% confidence interval (CI) while heterogeneity was assessed using Higgins I2 statistic.
RESULTS: Overall, 16 412 495 patients (mean age 55.1 years, 76.8% males), of whom 1 225 715 had COVID-19 infection, were included. Over a mean follow-up of 9.6 months, pericarditis occurred in 3.40 (95% CI: 3.39-3.41) out of 1000 patients who survived COVID-19 infection compared with 0.82 (95% CI: 0.80-0.83) out of 1000 control patients. Recovered COVID-19 patients presented a higher risk of incident pericarditis (HR: 1.95, 95% CI: 1.56-2.43, I2: 71.1%) compared with controls. Meta-regression analysis showed a significant direct relationship for the risk of incident pericarditis using HT (P = 0.02) and male sex (P = 0.02) as moderators, while an indirect association was observed when age (P = 0.01) and the follow-up length (P = 0.02) were adopted as moderating variables.
CONCLUSIONS: Recovered COVID-19 patients have a higher risk of pericarditis compared with patients from the general population.