Improving Canadian Outcomes Research On the Novel SARS-CoV-2 using Analytics: the CORONA Consortium

Lee, Douglas S | $409,179

Ontario University Health Network 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

Despite the major impacts of Covid-19 on all of society and medicine, relatively little is known about this disease. Early reports indicated that those with cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, may be at higher risk of Covid-19 infection. However, there have been few studies of populations of people who are at risk of, or have developed, Covid-19. In this proposal, we will study people living in Ontario and Alberta, and examine the following important questions. First, we will determine who in the population is at risk of developing Covid-19 infection. We will also determine the factors that influence prognosis, among those who have developed a positive test for the virus. We will do this by using methods of artificial intelligence, called machine learning, and sophisticated statistical techniques to consider the very large electronic datasets that have accumulated over each person’s lifetime. Second, we will evaluate if medications that have been used to treat people with conditions such as hypertension or diabetes can predispose to the development of Covid-19 infection. Alternatively, we will determine if some medications may potentially reduce the risks associated with Covid-19 infection. These analyses will be performed by linking the large databases described above with prescription drugs that have been prescribed to people in Ontario and Alberta. Finally, we will determine the impacts of the major changes in healthcare that were instituted as a response to the pandemic. Specifically, we will determine if the changes to healthcare had unintended collateral effects on those living with chronic cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and heart failure. We will focus on whether there was an increase in death rates and concomitant changes in hospital visits in people living with these conditions.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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