Does Angiotensin II receptor blockers increase the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection? A real-life experience

Link to article at PubMed

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2021 Jan;25(1):523-526. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202101_24424.


OBJECTIVE: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people have been infected with thousands of deaths. Few data regarding factors that increase the risk of infection are available. Our study aimed to evaluate all people living in retirement homes (PLRNH) and identify factors that could increase infection risk in a close community.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study enrolling all PLRNH, where at least one SARS-CoV-2 infected person was present. Variables were compared with Student's t-test or Pearson chi-square test as appropriate. Uni- and multivariate analyses were conducted to evaluate variables' influence on the infection.

RESULTS: We included 452 PLRNH; 144 (31.7%) were male, with a mean age of 82.2±8.6 years. People with a positive swab for SARS-CoV-2 were 306 (67.4%). A significant difference between SARS-CoV-2 infected and not infected was observed in the percentage of those receiving chronic treatment with Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) (18.6% vs. 9.5%, p=0.012). On the contrary, there was no difference in the proportion of those receiving ACE inhibitors (ACE-I) (21.2% vs. 23.6%, p=0.562). At multivariate analysis, people with mental illness and cancer had an increased risk of being infected. Furthermore, receiving ARBs as a chronic treatment was an independent predictor of infection risk [OR 1.95 (95% CI 1.03-3.72) p=0.041].

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that, in close communities, such as retirement nursing homes, the receipt of ARBs increased the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, before changing an important chronic treatment in a fragile population, such as the elderly living in retirement nursing homes, clinicians should carefully evaluate the risk-benefit ratio.

PMID:33506944 | DOI:10.26355/eurrev_202101_24424

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