Associations of pre-existing cardiovascular morbidity with severity and the fatality rate in COVID-19 patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2022 Feb;13(1):37-50. doi: 10.24171/j.phrp.2021.0186. Epub 2022 Feb 18.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities, including hypertension and coronary heart disease, with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) severity and mortality.

Methods: PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Scopus were searched between January 1, 2020, and July 18, 2020, to identify eligible studies. Random-effect models were used to estimate the pooled event rates of pre-existing cardiovascular disease comorbidities and odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) of disease severity and mortality associated with the exposures of interest.

Results: A total of 34 studies involving 19,156 patients with COVID-19 infection met the inclusion criteria. The prevalence of pre-existing cardiovascular disease in the included studies was 14.0%. Pre-existing cardiovascular disease in COVID-19 patients was associated with severe outcomes (OR, 4.1; 95% CI, 2.9 to 5.7) and mortality (OR, 6.1; 95% CI, 2.9 to 12.7). Hypertension and coronary heart disease increased the risk of severe outcomes by 2.6 times (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.9 to 3.6) and 2.5 times (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.7 to 3.8), respectively. No significant publication bias was indicated.

Conclusion: COVID-19 patients with pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidities have a higher risk of severe outcomes and mortality. Awareness of pre-existing cardiovascular comorbidity is important for the early management of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Coronary disease; Hypertension.