July 26, 2022 – However, the robust and significant increase in the risk of severe COVID-19 seen in our study, independent of medical history and medication use and particularly among young individuals, underscores the urgent need for extensive public health interventions such as anti-smoking campaigns and increased access to cessation therapy, especially in the age of COVID,” said the study’s senior author, Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., FAHA, a professor of medicine, biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky. “These findings provide the clearest evidence to date that people who smoke or vape have a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 and dying as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection.” “We established the COVID-19 CVD Registry early on in the pandemic to better understand the link between COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease, specifically, to identify increased risk to help inform the diagnosis and care of people who are at highest risk for complications,” said Sandeep R. Das, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., FAHA, co-chair of the steering committee for the American Heart Association® COVID-19 CVD Registry Powered by Get With The Guidelines® and director for Quality and Value in the Cardiology Division at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. “The findings of this study deliver on that goal and provide invaluable information individuals and their health care teams.”

The American Heart Association launched the registry in 2020 to gather data specific to all patients hospitalized with COVID-19 as part of the Get With The Guidelines® quality improvement program. Registry participation was offered at no cost to all U.S. hospitals caring for adults with active COVID-19 and with the infrastructure to support accurate data collection.  More than 160 hospitals provided data on more than 79,000 patient records between 2020 and June 2022.


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