Heart Failure (HF) is a complex set of conditions that results in the heart performing less well than it did – it is no longer pumping blood as well as it would in perfect health. HF affects around 1 million patients in the UK, and accounts for 2% of NHS direct costs. HF also disproportionally affects socioeconomically deprived groups, and is associated with a high rate of hospitalisation and mortality.
Emerging evidence suggests that many of the risk factors of HF are similar to those of poor outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Also, reductions in hospital activity in dealing with cardiovascular diseases during the pandemic are likely to worsen HF patient outcomes. It is therefore important to take a closer look at HF patients and study the effects of COVID-19 and vaccines in different HF subtypes using large-scale, representative data.
The CVD-COVID-UK programme links various large health data sources from across the UK. Looking at this combined data will provide reliable evidence about the risk of COVID-19 complications and the efficacy of vaccines in groups of people with different subtypes of HF.
Given the high number of people living with HF (around 1 million) and its huge impact on quality of life, the proposed analysis will provide directly useful evidence to inform clinical decision making and vaccination efforts for HF patients.