Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the commonest birth defect, affecting just under 1% of the population – at least 700,000 people in the UK. Work we have done in UK general practice patients, using information predating mass COVID vaccination, has shown that patients with CHD who become infected with COVID-19 are at a greater risk of being admitted to hospital and of death. Our previous analysis also found that the presence of conditions that may complicate CHD, such as increased blood pressure in the lungs, further increase those risks. It is not known how vaccination helps reduce these risks in CHD patients or which related conditions might still pose an increased risk.
The BHF Data Science Centre holds the up-to-date data regarding patient vaccination as well as other medical records allowing us to determine COVID-related risk in CHD patients. We will evaluate various types of heart defects, along with associated medical conditions, to determine if vaccination takes away the additional risk we have previously found.
The proposed study will inform health policy regarding the clinical management of CHD patients in terms of COVID-19 and their vaccination. In addition, it will potentially highlight other medical conditions associated with CHD that may require monitoring and future clinical care.