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Severe COVID-19 outcomes by cardiovascular risk profile in England in 2020: a population-based cohort study

Warren-Gash, C; Davidson, JA; Strongman, H; Herrett, E; Smeeth, L; Breuer, J; Banerjee, A; (2023) Severe COVID-19 outcomes by cardiovascular risk profile in England in 2020: a population-based cohort study. The Lancet Regional Health - Europe , 27 , Article 100604. 10.1016/j.lanepe.2023.100604. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: While cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a risk factor for severe COVID-19, the association between predicted cardiovascular risk and severe COVID-19 among people without diagnosed CVD is unclear. Methods: We carried out historical, population-based cohort studies among adults aged 40–84 years in England using linked data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Individuals were categorized into: existing CVD, raised cardiovascular risk (defined using QRISK3 score ≥10%) and low risk (QRISK3 score <10%) at 12/03/2020. We described incidence and severe outcomes of COVID-19 (deaths, intensive care unit [ICU] admissions, hospitalisations, major adverse cardiovascular events [MACE]) for each group. Among those with a COVID-19 record to 31/12/2020, we re-classified cardiovascular risk at infection and assessed the risk of severe outcomes using multivariable Cox regression with complete case analysis. We repeated analyses using hypertension to define raised cardiovascular risk. Findings: Among 6,059,055 individuals, 741,913 (12.2%) had established CVD, 1,929,627 (31.8%) had a QRISK3 score ≥10% and 3,387,515 (55.9%) had a QRISK3 score <10%. Marked gradients were seen in the incidence of all severe COVID-19 outcomes by cardiovascular risk profile. Among those with COVID-19 (N = 146,760), there was a strong association between raised QRISK3 score and death: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 8.77 (7.62–10.10), N = 97,725, which remained present, though attenuated in age-stratified results. Risks of other outcomes were also higher among those with raised QRISK3 score: aHR 3.66 (3.18–4.21) for ICU admissions, 3.38 (3.22–3.56) for hospitalisations, 5.43 (4.44–6.64) for MACE. When raised cardiovascular risk was redefined by hypertension status, only the association with MACE remained: aHR 1.49 (1.20–1.85), N = 57,264. Interpretation: Individuals without pre-existing CVD but with raised cardiovascular risk (by QRISK3 score) were more likely to experience severe COVID-19 outcomes and should be prioritised for prevention and treatment. Addressing cardiovascular risk factors could improve COVID-19 outcomes. Funding: BMA Foundation for Medical Research/ Rosetrees Trust, Wellcome, BHF.

Type: Article
Title: Severe COVID-19 outcomes by cardiovascular risk profile in England in 2020: a population-based cohort study
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.lanepe.2023.100604
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lanepe.2023.100604
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Cardiovascular risk, Cohort study, Electronic health records, Hypertension, QRISK3, Severe COVID-19 outcomes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167083
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