JOURNAL ARTICLE

Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Blockers and the Risk of Covid-19

Giuseppe Mancia, Federico Rea, Monica Ludergnani, Giovanni Apolone, Giovanni Corrao
New England Journal of Medicine 2020 June 18, 382 (25): 2431-2440
32356627

BACKGROUND: A potential association between the use of angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and the risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has not been well studied.

METHODS: We carried out a population-based case-control study in the Lombardy region of Italy. A total of 6272 case patients in whom infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was confirmed between February 21 and March 11, 2020, were matched to 30,759 beneficiaries of the Regional Health Service (controls) according to sex, age, and municipality of residence. Information about the use of selected drugs and patients' clinical profiles was obtained from regional databases of health care use. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for associations between drugs and infection, with adjustment for confounders, were estimated by means of logistic regression.

RESULTS: Among both case patients and controls, the mean (±SD) age was 68±13 years, and 37% were women. The use of ACE inhibitors and ARBs was more common among case patients than among controls, as was the use of other antihypertensive and non-antihypertensive drugs, and case patients had a worse clinical profile. Use of ARBs or ACE inhibitors did not show any association with Covid-19 among case patients overall (adjusted odds ratio, 0.95 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.86 to 1.05] for ARBs and 0.96 [95% CI, 0.87 to 1.07] for ACE inhibitors) or among patients who had a severe or fatal course of the disease (adjusted odds ratio, 0.83 [95% CI, 0.63 to 1.10] for ARBs and 0.91 [95% CI, 0.69 to 1.21] for ACE inhibitors), and no association between these variables was found according to sex.

CONCLUSIONS: In this large, population-based study, the use of ACE inhibitors and ARBs was more frequent among patients with Covid-19 than among controls because of their higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease. However, there was no evidence that ACE inhibitors or ARBs affected the risk of COVID-19.

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