Effects of renin-angiotensin system blockers on the risk and outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with hypertension

Link to article at PubMed

Korean J Intern Med. 2020 Aug 28. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2020.390. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND/AIMS: There are concerns that the use of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockers may increase the risk of being infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or progressing to a severe clinical course after infection. This this study aimed to investigate the influence of RAS blockers on the risk and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study analyzing nationwide claims data of 215,184 adults who underwent SARS-CoV-2 tests in South Korea. The SARS-CoV-2 positive rates and clinical outcomes were evaluated according to the use of RAS blockers in patients with hypertension (n=64,243).

RESULTS: In total, 38,919 patients with hypertension were on RAS blockers. The SARS-CoV-2 positive rates were significantly higher in the RAS blocker group than in the control group after adjustments (adjusted odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)] = 1.22 [1.10-1.36], P<0.001), and matching by propensity score (adjusted OR [95% CI]= 1.16 [1.03-1.32], P=0.017). Among the 1,609 SARS-CoV-2-positive patients with hypertension, the use of RAS blockers was not associated with poor outcomes, such as mortality (adjusted OR [95% CI]=0.81 [0.56-1.17], P=0.265), and a composite of admission to the intensive care unit and mortality (adjusted OR [95% CI]=0.95 [0.73-1.22], P=0.669). Analysis in the propensity score-matched population showed consistent results.

CONCLUSION: In this Korean nationwide claims dataset, the use of RAS blockers was associated with a higher risk to SARS-CoV-2 infection but not with higher mortality or other severe clinical courses.

PMID:32872731 | DOI:10.3904/kjim.2020.390

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