Cardiovascular vulnerability predicts hospitalisation in primary care clinically suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients: A model development and validation study

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Abstract

Objectives Cardiovascular conditions were shown to be predictive of clinical deterioration in hospitalised patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Whether this also holds for outpatients managed in primary care is yet unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the incremental value of cardiovascular vulnerability in predicting the risk of hospital referral in primary care COVID-19 outpatients. Design Analysis of anonymised routine care data extracted from electronic medical records from three large Dutch primary care registries. Setting Primary care. Participants Consecutive adult patients seen in primary care for COVID-19 symptoms in the ‘first wave’ of COVID-19 infections (March 1 2020 to June 1 2020) and in the ‘second wave’ (June 1 2020 to April 15 2021) in the Netherlands. Outcome measures A multivariable logistic regression model was fitted to predict hospital referral within 90 days after first COVID-19 consultation in primary care. Data from the ‘first wave’ was used for derivation (n = 5,475 patients). Age, sex, the interaction between age and sex, and the number of cardiovascular conditions and/or diabetes (0, 1, or ≥2) were pre-specified as candidate predictors. This full model was (i) compared to a simple model including only age and sex and its interaction, and (ii) externally validated in COVID-19 patients during the ‘second wave’ (n = 16,693). Results The full model performed better than the simple model (likelihood ratio test p<0.001). Older male patients with multiple cardiovascular conditions and/or diabetes had the highest predicted risk of hospital referral, reaching risks above 15–20%, whereas on average this risk was 5.1%. The temporally validated c-statistic was 0.747 (95%CI 0.729–0.764) and the model showed good calibration upon validation. Conclusions For patients with COVID-19 symptoms managed in primary care, the risk of hospital referral was on average 5.1%. Older, male and cardiovascular vulnerable COVID-19 patients are more at risk for hospital referral.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0266750
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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