A global cohort study to understand the risk factors and long-term health impacts of COVID-19

Little is known about the behavioural and environmental risk factors of COVID-19 because of a lack of high-quality epidemiological data. Although early reports found associations between COVID-19 and smoking, obesity, and cardiovascular conditions, these findings are not consistent and there is no clear scientific consensus about the underlying risk factors that increase the risk of COVID-19. Moreover, the long-term effects of COVID-19 on cardiovascular and respiratory health are unclear.

This project aims to examine the factors that increase or reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, in addition to the long-term impacts of COVID-19 on respiratory and cardiovascular health. It will study 35,000 adults from 13 countries who have already been recruited into the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology Study, an international study assessing the health of 200,000 people from 28 countries worldwide. Participants will be tested for COVID-19 and assessed for behavioural and physical risk factors such as smoking, alcohol use, or low physical activity. Clinical examination and patient monitoring will assess the impact of COVID-19 on respiratory function, as well as on the risk of longer-term cardiovascular or lung conditions. The study findings will provide valuable knowledge on the risk factors of COVID-19 and the potentially harmful long-term consequences of the disease.

This project was selected through the COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity, coordinated by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in partnership with IDRC and several other health research funding agencies across Canada

Project ID


Project status



12 months

IDRC Officer

Zee Leung

Total funding

CA$ 2,054,692


Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Malaysia, Middle East, Philippines, South America, Tanzania, Turkey, Zimbabwe


Foundations for Innovation

Project Leader

Darryl Leong


McMaster University

Institution Country


Institution Website