COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes have a greater risk of hospitalization than corona patients without these conditions. This is one of the conclusions of COVID@HEART: a major study by UMC Utrecht and Amsterdam UMC among more than 22,000 corona patients. The research results confirm that people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes should be a priority in the vaccination program. The research is the result of a collaboration between three DCVA partners: the Dutch Cardiology Association (NVVC), the patient association Harteraad and the Dutch Heart Foundation. The Dutch Heart Foundation funded the study.
Greater risk of hospitalization
COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes are more likely to be hospitalized.
• A 45-year-old with a cardiovascular disease or diabetes has the same risk of hospitalization as a 60-year-old without such a condition.
• A 60-year-old with cardiovascular disease or diabetes is roughly twice as likely to be hospitalized as a 60-year-old without these conditions.
• Women have a lower risk of hospitalization than men.
• In general, the risk increases with age.
About the research
COVID@HEART is led by Prof. Dr. Frans Rutten and Dr. Geert-Jan Geersing. As mentioned before the research is the result of a collaboration between three DCVA partners: the Dutch Cardiology Association (NVVC), the patient association Harteraad and the Dutch Heart Foundation. COVID@HEART is a good example of the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to set up research quickly and effectively and endorses the importance of collaboration in the Dutch CardioVascular Alliance.
COVID-19 vs the flu
The research results show that the risk of hospitalization among corona patients is considerable: about 1 in 20 patients ends up in hospital. This happens much more often than with other respiratory diseases such as the flu. These conditions are about 1 in 70. This shows that corona is more serious than the flu, especially in cardiovascular and diabetes patients.
Vaccination needed quickly
The research results confirm that people with cardiovascular disease or diabetes need vaccination as a priority. That is why they are being called upon for this at this time. These people normally also get a call for the flu shot.
More than 22,000 corona patients followed
The researchers followed more than 22,000 corona patients from around 190 general practices in the Amsterdam and Utrecht region during the first and second COVID-wave. On average they were 48 years old.
The researchers calculated the risk of ending up in hospital in different patient groups:
• people without cardiovascular disease or diabetes
• people with one cardiovascular disease or diabetes
• people with several of these conditions
They also looked at differences between men and women. The research results have been published online.
> Online publication results
Follow-up study into effect on the heart
After this, the researchers will continue to follow patients who have had corona. This way they can investigate the effects corona has on the heart in the long term. Previous research, supported by the Dutch Heart Foundation, has already shown that admitted corona patients with severe heart failure have a greater chance of dying in hospital.