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BACKGROUND: Pre-existing cardiovascular disease (CVD) or cardiovascular risk factors have been associated with an increased risk of complications following hospitalisation with COVID-19, but their impact on the rate of recovery following discharge is not known. OBJECTIVES: To determine whether the rate of patient-perceived recovery following hospitalisation with COVID-19 was affected by the presence of CVD or cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS: In a multicentre prospective cohort study, patients were recruited following discharge from the hospital with COVID-19 undertaking two comprehensive assessments at 5 months and 12 months. Patients were stratified by the presence of either CVD or cardiovascular risk factors prior to hospitalisation with COVID-19 and compared with controls with neither. Full recovery was determined by the response to a patient-perceived evaluation of full recovery from COVID-19 in the context of physical, physiological and cognitive determinants of health. RESULTS: From a total population of 2545 patients (38.8% women), 472 (18.5%) and 1355 (53.2%) had CVD or cardiovascular risk factors, respectively. Compared with controls (n=718), patients with CVD and cardiovascular risk factors were older and more likely to have had severe COVID-19. Full recovery was significantly lower at 12 months in patients with CVD (adjusted OR (aOR) 0.62, 95% CI 0.43 to 0.89) and cardiovascular risk factors (aOR 0.66, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.86). CONCLUSION: Patients with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors had a delayed recovery at 12 months following hospitalisation with COVID-19. Targeted interventions to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in patients with cardiovascular disease remain an unmet need. TRAIL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN10980107.

Original publication




Journal article


Open Heart

Publication Date





CARDIAC REHABILITATION, COVID-19, RISK FACTORS, Humans, COVID-19, Male, Female, Cardiovascular Diseases, Prospective Studies, Middle Aged, Aged, Risk Factors, Hospitalization, Time Factors, SARS-CoV-2, Recovery of Function