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A new population-wide health data resource to accelerate research on COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease in England

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For the first time, a new linked health data resource covering 54.4 million people – over 96% of the English population – is now available for researchers from across the UK to collaborate in NHS Digital’s secure research environment. This resource will enable vital research to take place into COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease, with the aim of improving treatments and care for patients.

This work has been led by the CVD-COVID-UK consortium in partnership with NHS Digital. The new resource links health data from GP records, hospital data, death records, COVID-19 laboratory test data and data on medications dispensed from pharmacies, and is accessible to CVD-COVID-UK consortium researchers in NHS Digital’s Trusted Research Environment (TRE) Service for England.

The CVD-COVID-UK consortium is a collaborative group of more than 130 members across 40 institutions working to understand the relationship between COVID-19 and cardiovascular diseases. The consortium is managed by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Data Science Centre, led by Health Data Research UK.

The ability to link different types of health data from almost the entire population of England provides a more complete and accurate picture of the impact of COVID-19 on patients with diseases of the heart and circulation than has been possible before now. It will also provide the data to understand whether patients with COVID-19 are more likely to go on to develop diseases of the heart and circulation, such as heart attack and stroke.

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Source: HDRUK, 24 February 2021

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