Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother. 2020 Dec 18:pvaa138. doi: 10.1093/ehjcvp/pvaa138. Online ahead of print.
AIMS: This meta-analysis provides summary odds ratio (OR) estimates for associations between treatment with (vs. without) renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockers and risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and coronavirus disease 2019 (CoViD-19) severity (including case-fatality) in patients with hypertension, and in all patients (irrespective of hypertension).
METHODS AND RESULTS: PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, medRxiv and SSRN were searched (May 02, 2020 to August 12, 2020) for non-randomised observational CoViD-19 studies. Event/patient numbers were extracted, comparing ACE inhibitor/ARB treatment (and each separately), to treatment with neither drug, for the outcomes: (a) Likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection; (b) CoViD-19 severity (including hospitalisation, Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU), ventilation); (c) Case-fatality. Risk of bias was assessed (ROBINS-I). Random-effects meta-analysis estimates were pooled. Eighty six studies including 459,755 patients (103,317 with hypertension), were analysed. In patients with hypertension, ACE inhibitor or ARB treatment was not associated with a greater likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection in 60,141 patients (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.99-1.14), hospitalisation in 5,925 patients (OR 0.90, 0.62-1.31), ITU in 7,218 patients (OR 1.06, 0.73-1.56), ventilation (or ITU/ventilation/death) in 13,163 patients (OR 0.91, 0.72-1.15) or case-fatality in 18,735 patients with 2,893 deaths (OR 0.75, 0.61-0.92).
CONCLUSION: ACE inhibitors and ARBs appear safe in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection and should not be discontinued. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020186996.