Heart risk factors may increase odds of COVID-19 death

Researchers at Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan found heart risk factors such as age and smoking frequency are more likely to increase chances of death from COVID-19 than heart disease itself, the American Heart Association said in an Oct. 4 news release.

The study, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, followed 5,133 critically ill COVID-19 patients across 68 hospitals admitted to ICUs between March 1 and July 1, 2020.

Of the participants, 1,174 had preexisting cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, heart failure and atrial fibrillation. When researchers separated risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, the link between heart disease itself and death from COVID-19 appeared to be statistically insignificant.

Risk factors appeared to play a greater role in risk of death. Researchers found the most important risk factors were, in order: age, body mass index, race and ethnicity, and history of smoking.


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