Post-COVID-19 Symptoms and Heart Disease: Incidence, Prognostic Factors, Outcomes and Vaccination: Results from a Multi-Center International Prospective Registry (HOPE 2)

J Clin Med. 2023 Jan 16;12(2):706. doi: 10.3390/jcm12020706.


Background: Heart disease is linked to worse acute outcomes after coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), although long-term outcomes and prognostic factor data are lacking. We aim to characterize the outcomes and the impact of underlying heart diseases after surviving COVID-19 hospitalization.

Methods: We conducted an analysis of the prospective registry HOPE-2 (Health Outcome Predictive Evaluation for COVID-19-2, NCT04778020). We selected patients discharged alive and considered the primary end-point all-cause mortality during follow-up. As secondary main end-points, we included any readmission or any post-COVID-19 symptom. Clinical features and follow-up events are compared between those with and without cardiovascular disease. Factors with p < 0.05 in the univariate analysis were entered into the multivariate analysis to determine independent prognostic factors.

Results: HOPE-2 closed on 31 December 2021, with 9299 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and 1805 died during this acute phase. Finally, 7014 patients with heart disease data were included in the present analysis, from 56 centers in 8 countries. Heart disease (+) patients were older (73 vs. 58 years old), more frequently male (63 vs. 56%), had more comorbidities than their counterparts, and suffered more frequently from post-COVID-19 complications and higher mortality (OR heart disease: 2.63, 95% CI: 1.81-3.84). Vaccination was found to be an independent protector factor (HR all-cause death: 0.09; 95% CI: 0.04-0.19).

Conclusions: After surviving the acute phase, patients with underlying heart disease continue to present a more complex clinical profile and worse outcomes including increased mortality. The COVID-19 vaccine could benefit survival in patients with heart disease during follow-up.

Keywords: COVID-19; cardiology; heart disease; mortality; persistent; prognosis.