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People at risk of future heart disease and stroke may be at greater risk for severe COVID-19

In 2020, just a few months into the pandemic, Rosetrees Trust released an emergency fund for COVID-19 related projects.

Dr Charlotte Warren-Gash (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine)was a recipient of this COVID-19 funding, and has presented new research at this year’s European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) (23-26 April). Their research suggests that people with elevated risk of developing a stroke or heart attack (but without existing cardiovascular disease), who contract COVID-19 are nearly 3 times as likely to be hospitalised, requiring treatment in intensive care and six times as likely to die from COVID-19, compared to those at low cardiovascular risk.

The data was collected from almost a million adults from across England during the first wave of the pandemic. Currently those people with chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease are identified as a risk group for severe COVID-19. However, people with raised cardiovascular risk as in this study, are currently not identified as a risk group, this study suggests that this needs to change.

For the full abstract click here.