Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Background: Cardiometabolic morbidity and medications, specifically Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs), have been linked with adverse outcomes from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aims to investigate, factors associated with COVID-19 positivity in hospital for 1,436 UK Biobank participants; compared with individuals who tested negative, and with the untested, presumed negative, rest of the cohort. Methods: We studied 7,099 participants from the UK Biobank who had been tested for COVID-19 in hospital. We considered the following exposures: age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, ACEi/ARB use, prior myocardial infarction (MI), and smoking. We undertook comparisons between (1) COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative tested participants; and (2) COVID-19 tested positive and the remaining participants (tested negative plus untested, n = 494,838). Logistic regression models were used to investigate univariate and mutually adjusted associations. Results: Among participants tested for COVID-19, Black, Asian, and Minority ethnic (BAME) ethnicity, male sex, and higher BMI were independently associated with a positive result. BAME ethnicity, male sex, greater BMI, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking were independently associated with COVID-19 positivity compared to the remaining cohort (test negatives plus untested). However, similar associations were observed when comparing those who tested negative for COVID-19 with the untested cohort; suggesting that these factors associate with general hospitalization rather than specifically with COVID-19. Conclusions: Among participants tested for COVID-19 with presumed moderate to severe symptoms in a hospital setting, BAME ethnicity, male sex, and higher BMI are associated with a positive result. Other cardiometabolic morbidities confer increased risk of hospitalization, without specificity for COVID-19. ACE/ARB use did not associate with COVID-19 status.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Cardiovasc Med

Publication Date





Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors, Angiotensin Receptor Blockers, UK Biobank, cardiometabolic disease, coronavirus disease 2019, ethnicity, obesity, sex