Research Opportunities utilizing data from the AHA COVID-19 CVD Registry

The American Heart Association ("AHA") encourages hospitals and health systems to enroll in AHA's COVID-19 CVD Registry powered by Get With The Guidelines® ("COVID-19 CVD Registry"). The data collected through this Registry will guide and improve patient care and outcomes as a part of larger quality improvement efforts. 

One of the advantages of participating in the COVID-19 CVD Registry is the opportunity to apply insights from the data of one hospital in ways that may impact the lives of the public health community. By forming a network of knowledge with the data from hundreds of hospitals and health systems across the nation, together we shape the future of medicine for all. 

If your institution is not already involved in the registry, learn more about how your hospital or health system can participate. There is no cost for hospitals and health systems to enroll in the COVID-19 CVD Registry.  

Hospital-level quality improvement research

The COVID-19 CVD registry requires that hospitals enter data from all COVID-19 patients, rather than a sample of patients. Submitting accurate data for the entire population group will enable researchers to understand on the aspects of care that work well and what could be improved for better patient outcomes. Small but meaningful differences in care and outcomes may be captured in the data from consecutive patients and missed in a sample of patients. Additionally, sampling could trigger bias and confound later findings.  

If you are not able to enter ALL patients hospitalized with COVID-19 for the duration of the pandemic, your hospital can elect to enter all cases for a select window of time (e.g. your hospital could choose to enter ALL consecutive COVID-19 cases for a 4-week period.). An essential element in this data collection is being consecutive. 

Hospitals and health systems may also wish to present their findings at conferences, in journal publications, or on their own websites. While the AHA encourages sharing knowledge, you must contact the Association before presenting your study publicly. Contact your local American Heart Association quality improvement staff contact or visit the COVID-19 CVD Registry page for more information

Researching the American Heart Association's COVID-19 CVD Registry

As information about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 continues to become available, researchers will study the effects of the pandemic for years to come. Each of the American Heart Association's existing Get With The Guidelines® modules have been a robust source of information to inform clinical practice and patient outcomes, and the Association's COVID-19 CVD Registry data will similarly be a reliable and recognized source of information for research studies. 

The first round of research proposals using the aggregate, deidentified dataset has been approved by the American Heart Association and researchers across the United States are conducting their groundbreaking analyses using the Association's Precision Medicine Platform.

We are excited to announce the second-round request for proposals (RFP) for investigator-initiated research using data collected in the COVID-19 CVD Registry. While future RFPs may be open to the wider research community, only those sites actively contributing to the Association's COVID-19 CVD Registry are eligible to submit a proposal at this time. Prior to drafting and submitting a research proposal, please review the data elements collected in the COVID-19 CVD Registry's Case Report Form (CRF) to ensure study feasibility. Based on the complexity of the dataset and the expedited timelines for completing commissioned projects, we do not recommend that investigators explore analyzing data collected trough serial labs without prior discussion with the Association and the Steering Committee's leadership.

Eligible researchers interested in querying the COVID-19 CVD Registry may submit a proposal to the Association at qualityresearch@heart.org by 5:00pm CT on September 15, 2020.

Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis by the American Heart Association COVID-19 Research and Publications (R&P) Committee and will be rated based on priority, novel contribution to the scientific literature, feasibility with the data collected and merit. Each approved project will be assigned a liaison from the R&P Committee to support the project from proposal to publication. We plan to notify investigators in early October. 

To support burst science and rapid dissemination of high-quality science during this unprecedented time, researchers will complete the statistical analysis for their approved proposal on the American Heart Association's Precision Medicine Platform.

We are not currently accepting proposals on the following topics:

  • Characterizations or descriptions of the general patient population, participating hospitals and health systems, or in-hospital CV outcomes
  • Presentation, patterns of care and outcomes stratified by race/ethnicity or by gender
  • Heart Failure Exacerbation
  • Variation and outcomes with ACE/ARB use
  • Hydroxychloroquine and new-onset arrhythmia
  • Stroke outcomes
  • Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) outcomes and thrombotic complications
  • Cardiac arrest

Eligibility criteria for proposals using the deidentified, national aggregate dataset:

  • Proposals will use the deidentified, national aggregate data set and should focus on the data elements collected in the Association's COVID-19 CVD Registry 
  • In the interest of supporting burst science and rapid discovery to build a strong foundation of knowledge from this complex dataset, we discourage complex data linkages and complex analyses using the serial laboratory data. 
  • Proposals will only be accepted from sites actively participating in the COVID-19 Registry with site PI approval
    • Sites may have up to two active projects at a time
    • Multisite centers may have up to three active projects at a time
  • Analyses will be conducted on the American Heart Association's Precision Medicine Platform using R, Python, or a web-based SAS license
    • Proposed analyses should be completed within two weeks of access to data on the Precision Medicine Platform.
    • Researchers who have a web-based SAS license or are familiar with other programming languages can conduct their approved analyses in a secured workspace on the Precision Medicine Platform.
    • Researchers may also connect with American Heart Association Data Scientists who offer consultative data analytics services to conduct the approved statistical analysis on the Precision Medicine Platform
  • After completing the proposed analysis of the COVID-19 CVD Registry data, researchers will draft the findings for a peer-reviewed manuscript.
    • The study's lead author will secure approval from all co-authors prior to submitting for final approval by the Steering Committee and American Heart Association Science.
    • Manuscripts should be drafted and submitted for American Heart Association Committee approval within six weeks of access to data on Precision Medicine Platform. 

Note: No unauthorized data analyses may be conducted using the COVID-19 CVD Registry without proposal review by the AHA COVID-19 Steering Committee and written approval from the American Heart Association. All publications must follow AHA’s Quality Improvement Program publication guidelines. More information is available at www.heart.org/qualityresearch.