RESEARCH by Glasgow University scientists into how COVID-19 affects Scots with congenital heart disease is believed to be the first study of its kind in the world.

It is one of two coronavirus research projects to receive funding from Medical Research Scotland, the country’s largest independent medical research charity.

Funding of more than £35,000 has been awarded for two clinical studies.

The first will use non-invasive ultrasound scans to investigate whether patients infected with Covid-19 who are on ventilators are more likely to develop heart problems associated with pumping blood to their lungs.

The second study will examine the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Scottish congenital heart disease population and the extent to which patients with the pre-existing condition are vulnerable to the effects of the virus compared with the general population.

Professor Philip Winn, chair of Medical Research Scotland, said: “In the last few months, there has been a global research and development effort to better understand and treat COVID-19.

“Scotland has a leading role to play with world-class research teams and the cutting-edge science needed to do this.”

He added: “Medical Research Scotland is proud to support research into COVID-19 at the University of Glasgow. We moved quickly to provide funding to research projects that help understand and combat the disease and hope that our prompt actions in supporting excellent labs will enable them to deliver the quality science that will beat this virus.”

Professor Andy Porter, Vice President, Business of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) said: “As Scotland’s National Academy, RSE hopes to play a key role in supporting Scotland’s post-covid recovery.”