European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society

Increased risk of long-term CV outcomes after COVID-19

Long-term cardiovascular outcomes of COVID-19

Literature - Xie Y, Xu E, Bowe B et al. - Nat Med. 2022 Feb 7. doi: 10.1038/s41591-022-01689-3.

Introduction and methods

Aim of the study

This observational study used a cohort of individuals with COVID-19 and two sets of control cohorts to assess the risk and 1-year burden of incident CVD in the post-acute phase of COVID-19.



The study used a cohort of US veterans who survived the first 30 days of COVID-19 (n=153,760), a contemporary control group (n=5,637,647) and a historical (pre-pandemic) control group (n=5,859,411).

The investigators estimated the risk of incident CV outcomes in the COVID-19 cohort versus the contemporary control group. In addition, they estimated the adjusted excess burden of CV outcomes due to COVID-19 per 1,000 persons at 12 months, which was based on the difference between the estimated incidence rate in the COVID-19 group and the contemporary control group.

The median follow-up time was 347 days in the COVID-19 cohort, 348 in the contemporary control group and 347 in the historical control group.



An extensive set of pre-specified CV outcomes was investigated in this study, including cerebrovascular disorders, dysrhythmias, inflammatory disease of the heart or pericardium, ischemic heart disease, thromboembolic disorders, other CV disorders, and MACE.

Main results

Cerebrovascular outcomes

Dysrhythmia outcomes

Inflammatory diseases

Ischemic outcomes

Thromboembolic disorders

Heart failure and other CV outcomes


Subgroup analyses


This study showed that individuals in the post-acute phase of COVID-19 had increased risks and 12-month burdens of incident CV diseases, compared to control cohorts with individuals with no evidence of SARA-CoV-2 infection.

The authors of the article wrote: “Our study shows that the risk of incident cardiovascular disease extends well beyond the acute phase of COVID-19. (…) Governments and health systems around the world should be prepared to deal with the likely significant contribution of the COVID-19 pandemic to a rise in the burden of cardiovascular diseases.”

Find this article online at Nat Med.

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