PLoS One. 2020 Dec 21;15(12):e0244349. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0244349. eCollection 2020.
BACKGROUND: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 is the receptor that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) uses for entry into lung cells. Because ACE-2 may be modulated by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), there is concern that patients treated with ACEIs and ARBs are at higher risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia.
AIM: This study sought to analyze the association of COVID-19 pneumonia with previous treatment with ACEIs and ARBs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 684 consecutive patients hospitalized for suspected COVID-19 pneumonia and tested by polymerase chain reaction assay. Patients were split into two groups, according to whether (group 1, n = 484) or not (group 2, n = 250) COVID-19 was confirmed. Multivariable adjusted comparisons included a propensity score analysis.
RESULTS: The mean age was 63.6 ± 18.7 years, and 302 patients (44%) were female. Hypertension was present in 42.6% and 38.4% of patients in groups 1 and 2, respectively (P = 0.28). Treatment with ARBs was more frequent in group 1 than group 2 (20.7% vs. 12.0%, respectively; odds ratio [OR] 1.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.23-2.98; P = 0.004). No difference was found for treatment with ACEIs (12.7% vs. 15.7%, respectively; OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.52-1.26; P = 0.35). Propensity score-matched multivariable logistic regression confirmed a significant association between COVID-19 and previous treatment with ARBs (adjusted OR 2.36, 95% CI 1.38-4.04; P = 0.002). Significant interaction between ARBs and ACEIs for the risk of COVID-19 was observed in patients aged > 60 years, women, and hypertensive patients.
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that ACEIs and ARBs are not similarly associated with COVID-19. In this retrospective series, patients with COVID-19 pneumonia more frequently had previous treatment with ARBs compared with patients without COVID-19.