Big data projects championed by faculty in the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) are supporting ongoing discoveries as scientists learn more about the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection.
Husam M. Salah, M.D., recently published findings in Nature Communications showing patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19 had a 45% higher risk of heart failure than other hospitalized patients.
Salah is chief medical resident in the UAMS College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine. The first national study of its kind, the research also revealed an even higher risk of heart failure for younger, white patients previously hospitalized with COVID-19, surprising the research team.
The study analyzed de-identified data of 587,330 patients in the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) database, created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which also funds the UAMS Translational Research Institute.
The study of the heart failure association with previously hospitalized COVID-19 patients was the first using such a large-scale nationally representative population, according to the article.
“The N3C was one of the very few databases that had nationally representative de-identified COVID-19 related data,” Salah said.
UAMS is among the early contributors of de-identified patient data to the N3C. It continues to aid the national effort with expertise and leadership by Fred Prior, Ph.D., chair and distinguished professor in the College of Medicine Department of Biomedical Informatics, and Ahmad Baghal, M.D., Ph.D., who directs the Arkansas Clinical Data Repository, a UAMS database of historical patient data.
Their efforts have been supported by the UAMS Translational Research Institute, led by Laura James, M.D., who co-chairs the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program Steering Committee.
“The Nature Communications article is a great example of the translational research that is possible with the N3C,” said James, also UAMS associate vice chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research. “It is especially gratifying to see the N3C database contributing to such important work with a UAMS researcher as part of the team.”
Read more in the UAMS Newsroom.