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They’re also much more likely to need hospitalisation and intensive medical care.

The death rate is almost 12 times higher than it is for people without cardiovascular disease.

People with risk factors like high blood pressure (hypertension) or diabetes are also at greater risk.

Over 6 million Australians have high blood pressure and over a million people live with diabetes. That means up to one in three adults are at increased risk of severe coronavirus infections.

Will you help protect these vulnerable people from the devastating effects of COVID-19?

Unravelling the deadly link between the coronavirus and cardiovascular disease

The Heart Research Institute (HRI) is working closely with clinical colleagues in major NSW hospitals, including the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and other leading universities and research organisations, to identify new ways of preventing the heart complications of COVID-19 infections in high-risk individuals.

We are establishing a network of clinicians and researchers to be at the forefront of coronavirus research in Australia and tackle the complex cardiovascular-related issues facing COVID-19 infected patients head on. Will you help fund vital work like this?

HRI scientists have established several important research projects to unravel the link between viral infection, inflammation and blood clots, and to understand why these processes become more severe in people with hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

Help protect people like Cara

It’s vital that we protect people with heart disease from the terrifying effects of the coronavirus.

For heart patients like Cara, your support could be the difference between life and death.

At 35, Cara has already had five open heart surgeries, the first at just three days old.

For Cara, catching coronavirus could easily be fatal.

I worry about the side effects of the coronavirus, as any sort of virus or infection could really be detrimental to a heart patient.

survivor of 5 open heart surgeries

Yet right now, in addition to the coronavirus, HRI is facing a huge barrier to continuing this much-needed research.

Over 70% of our funding comes from generous donors, and we’ve had to close down all fundraising that involves events or any kind of personal contact.

It would be an absolute tragedy to have to reduce our scientific teams and pause our research because right now, it’s more important than ever to be doing heart research.

Please help keep life-saving heart research going and support urgent work on the coronavirus.

HRI breakthrough for COVID-19 patients

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