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Getting to the heart of the matter of COVID-19
  1. David E Newby1,
  2. Kazem Rahimi2
  1. 1 Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
  2. 2 Deep Medicine, Nuffield Department for Women's and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Kazem Rahimi, Nuffield Department for Women's and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3DB, UK; kazem.rahimi{at}

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COVID-19 has become a global pandemic which has had a major impact on hundreds of countries across the world. In less than 6 months, we have seen millions of people infected by the virus and over a quarter of a million deaths. The speed and rapidity of the spread of COVID-19 has left many countries scrambling to initiate public health interventions and to cope with the impact on healthcare provision in hospitals. In spite of this, the majority of people who are infected have either no symptoms or mild self-limiting disease. Understanding and identifying those at risk of severe manifestations or death has therefore become an imperative.

Our understanding of COVID-19 continues to evolve, but it was clear early on that, like other viral pandemics, the severity of disease and mortality are greatest in older people. Going beyond age alone, further exploration of the comorbidities has suggested an influence of coexisting cardiovascular disease. In this issue of Heart, Li and colleagues present a systematic review and meta-analysis of studies looking at the outcomes of patients with COVID-19 in relation to their history of cardiovascular disease and the presence of myocardial injury.1 This a rapidly evolving field and it is amazing to observe that this systematic review has already distilled data from over 3000 patients in as little as a 3-month period; such is the global scientific impetus to share knowledge. Their findings …

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