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COVID-19 pandemic: the potential effects of quarantine-induced stress on arrhythmias
  • Anna Vittoria Mattioli,
  • Andrea Cossarizza,
  • Giuseppe Boriani
Anna Vittoria Mattioli
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
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Andrea Cossarizza
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Faculty of Medicine and Surgery
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Giuseppe Boriani
Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Policlinico di Modena
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Abstract

Since the WHO defined the diffusion of novel coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) as pandemic, the global effort has been on finding a cure and preventing transmission. As a consequence, people are going through many psychological problems in adjusting to the current lifestyles and fear of the disease. The link between the psychological effects of quarantine and arrhythmias has been poorly explored. However it is known that sudden catastrophic events i.e. earthquake are associated with an increase in sudden cardiac deaths. Acute stress and anxiety could act as a trigger for ventricular arrhythmias, which are found to have increased significantly after an earthquake. Quarantine induced a chronic stress enforced by alarming news reports in the media. Closure of businesses increased the stress due the expected crisis after the lockdown. Stress activates both the sympathetic nervous system and the axis of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, leading to an increased risk of cardiac events. The aim of the present editorial is to analyze the potential impact of quarantine –induced stress on the development of arrhythmias.