Bristol University launches research into patients most at risk from COVID-19

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By Teddy Coward, Third Year English

The research aims to better understand who is most at risk from the virus, enabling health care professionals to improve treatment and help patients minimise exposure.

Researchers at the University of Bristol’s Centre for Academic Primary Care, which sits within the University’s Medical School, are carrying out a study to identify which patients are most at risk from coronavirus.

Linking routine health data recorded in GP practice surgeries with the records of severely ill coronavirus patients, their study will look at which underlying health problems, drug treatments, or other factors, most likely lead a person to be admitted to intensive care or die from the virus.

With better understanding of those most at risk from the virus, health care professionals hope to be able to make improved decisions about when to treat patients, prioritise treatments for those most likely to benefit, and help patients minimise their exposure.

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Dr Rupert Payne, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Primary Care at the Centre for Academic Primary Care and lead researcher on the project, has said: ‘We know that older people and individuals with pre-existing health problems who develop COVID-19 are at higher risk of serious disease or death.

'Better information on exactly which patients are at risk will help the NHS and public health authorities guide patient care and save lives.

'We hope our research will inform the ongoing response to COVID-19, as well as serving as an invaluable resource for future research looking at the wider impact of the pandemic on primary care health services.'

The study is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research – a partnership between nine leading academic centres for primary care research, which includes UoB’s Centre for Academic Primary Care.

Data used for the study will be drawn from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) and the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC).

Featured image: Unsplash/CDC


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