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Research into the risk of hospital admission from COVID-19 is recognised with a "Best Research Paper Award" from the journal Heart.

A 3D rendering image of corona virus in center and orange color human symbol dolls stand around with center light glow inside out and diffuse shadow on white floor © Shutterstock

Research finding that two common heart medications do not increase the risk of COVID-19 hospitalisation has this week been named by the BMJ Heart journal as the Heart Best Research Paper Award 2021, in recognition of its “high quality and clinical impact”.

The study, led by Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox and co-authored by a multidisciplinary team, analysed routinely collected electronic health records from 8.3 million people. It found that both ACE inhibitors and ARB drugs, two common hypertension treatments for over 55's, were associated with a reduced risk for COVID-19, and that there was no evidence of an increased or reduced risk of admission to intensive care with either drug. 

When the research was published in July 2020, it was the first population-based observation study of these drugs and COVID-19, and raised the possibility of ethnic-specific effects of ACE inhibitors and ARBS on the susceptibility and severity of COVID-19. The researchers obtained their data from two high-quality and established large validated research databases - QResearch and ICNARC CMP. 

Every year, the Heart editorial team selects the most meritorious research papers it has published. Primary considerations are the relevance of the clinical question addressed by the research, the quality of the research study design and data presentation, and the interest generated by the paper among other researchers, clinical cardiologists and the general public.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.

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