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Modifiable Cardiovascular Risk Factors Linked to Severity of COVID-19

Last Updated: June 16, 2021.

WEDNESDAY, June 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Many modifiable cardiovascular risk factors are associated with more severe consequences from COVID-19, according to a review published online June 9 in the European Heart Journal: Quality of Care & Clinical Outcomes.

Stephanie L. Harrison, Ph.D., from the University of Liverpool & Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted an umbrella review of systematic reviews to consolidate evidence on the association between cardiovascular risk factors and health outcomes with COVID-19 as well as the impact of COVID-19 on cardiovascular health.

Based on 31 reviews rated as moderate-quality or high-quality, the researchers found that renal disease (odds ratio [OR], 3.07), diabetes mellitus (OR, 2.09), hypertension (OR, 2.50), smoking history (risk ratio [RR], 1.26), cerebrovascular disease (RR, 2.75), and cardiovascular disease (OR, 2.65) were associated with higher mortality and severe COVID-19. There was an association between liver disease and higher odds of mortality (OR, 2.81), but not severe COVID-19, while current smoking was associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 (RR, 1.80), but not mortality. Among patients hospitalized with COVID-19, incident cardiovascular complications included acute heart failure (2 percent), myocardial infarction (4 percent), deep vein thrombosis (7 percent), myocardial injury (10 percent), angina (10 percent), arrhythmias (18 percent), pulmonary embolism (19 percent), and venous thromboembolism (25 percent).

"Primary and secondary prevention strategies that target cardiovascular risk factors may improve outcomes for people following COVID-19," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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