J Clin Med. 2021 Mar 12;10(6):1194. doi: 10.3390/jcm10061194.
The independent role of hypertension for COVID-19 outcomes in the population remains unclear. We aimed to estimate the independent effect of hypertension and hypertension-related conditions, i.e., cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and chronic kidney diseases, as potential risk factors for COVID-19 hospitalization and severe COVID-19 (i.e., intensive care unit admission or death) in the population. The risk for severe COVID-19 among hospitalized patients was also evaluated. A Spanish population-based cohort of people aged 25-79 years was prospectively followed from March to May 2020 to identify hospitalizations for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Poisson regression was used to estimate the adjusted relative risk (aRR) for COVID-19 hospitalization and severe COVID-19 among the whole cohort, and for severe COVID-19 among hospitalized patients. Of 424,784 people followed, 1106 were hospitalized by COVID-19 and 176 were severe cases. Hypertension was not independently associated with a higher risk of hospitalization (aRR 0.96, 95% CI 0.83-1.12) nor severe COVID-19 (aRR 1.12, 95% CI 0.80-1.56) in the population. Persons with cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and chronic kidney diseases were at higher risk for COVID-19 hospitalization (aRR 1.33, 95% CI 1.13-1.58; aRR 1.41, 95% CI 1.04-1.92; and aRR 1.52, 95% CI 1.21-1.91; respectively) and severe COVID-19 (aRR 1.61, 95% CI 1.13-2.30; aRR 1.91, 95% CI 1.13-3.25; and aRR 1.78, 95% CI 1.14-2.76; respectively). COVID-19 hospitalized patients with cerebrovascular diseases were at higher risk of mortality (aRR 1.80, 95% CI 1.00-3.23). The current study shows that, in the general population, persons with cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and chronic kidney diseases, but not those with hypertension only, should be considered as high-risk groups for COVID-19 hospitalization and severe COVID-19.