Why this study is so important

HElping Alleviate the Longer-term consequences of COVID-19 (HEAL-COVID): a national platform trial

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which has spread across the world since December 2019. The effects of COVID-19 in the early stages of illness are now well known, and research projects have identified new treatments to help patients at this early stage. 1 in 10 patients die 3 months after being discharged from hospital. There is now evidence that around 20% of COVID-19 patients develop new or worsened symptoms, often involving their heart, lungs and circulation, after discharge from hospital. These symptoms are often grouped together as part of a syndrome known as “Long COVID”.

1 in 10 patients die 3 months after being discharged from hospital.

Because COVID-19 is a new disease, there is still a lot that we do not know, particularly about the longer term effects. HEAL-COVID is a clinical trial to compare different treatments that could prevent or reduce long term symptoms in COVID-19 patients. The main objective of HEAL-COVID is to determine whether the treatments used improve longer-term outcomes for COVID-19 patients.

We will invite patients who have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19 to take part in HEAL-COVID. Patients will be asked if they would like to take part shortly before they are discharged home, and will be randomly allocated to receive:

  • Atorvastatin, a statin with anti-inflammatory properties, once a day for 12 months or
  • The usual standard care offered by their hospital, as appropriate to their symptoms and conditions.

HEAL-COVID participants will be invited to complete follow-up surveys. This is optional. Surveys can be completed via an app on a smartphone or tablet, or over the phone with a Research Nurse. The surveys will be sent no more frequently than once a week, and include questions relating to symptoms, quality of life, resource use and experience of participating in research.

While the main objective of the trial is to find out if the treatments used are effective, and help improve care for COVID-19 patients in the future, we will also use data from the study to investigate whether the treatments are cost-effective.


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