Am J Nephrol. 2021 Apr 7:1-11. doi: 10.1159/000515232. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Use of certain antihypertensive medications has been an area of interest during the COVID-19 pandemic, and several hypotheses have been developed regarding the effects of renin-angiotensin system blockers as well as calcium channel blockers in those infected with COVID-19. We seek to determine the association between exposure to ACEI, ARB, and CCB and outcomes in those admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 infection.
METHODS: This retrospective cohort study included 841 adult patients hospitalized with COVID-19 infection at the University of Chicago Medical Center between March 25 and June 22, 2020. Out of these 841, 453 patients had a personal history of hypertension. For the first part, we evaluated primary outcomes of in-hospital mortality and ICU admission in hospitalized COVID-19 patients based on their exposure to particular medications regardless of a personal history of hypertension and compared them with those who were not on these medications. For the second part, we evaluated the aforementioned outcomes in 453 patients with a personal history of hypertension based on their medication exposure. Secondary outcomes of length of stay, readmission rate, and new-onset dialysis requirement were also compared across the study groups.
RESULTS: Out of 841 patients, 111 (13.19%) were on ACEI/ARB (median age: 66.1, SD 15.4; 52.25% females) and 730 (86.80%) were not on them (median age: 56.6, SD 20.3; 50.14% females), while 277 (32.93%) used CCB (median age: 64.6, SD 15.2; 57.04% females) and 564 (67.06%) did not use CCB (median age: 54.6, SD 21.2; 47.16% females). After adjusting for demographics and covariates, neither ACEI/ARB nor CCB exposure was associated with any effect on mortality, but ACEI/ARB exposure was associated with 42% reduction in risk of ICU admissions (OR 0.58, 95% CI [0.35, 0.95], p value 0.03). In addition, combined use of ACEI/ARB and CCB was associated with statistically significant (45%) reduction in ICU admission (OR 0.55, 95% CI [0.32, 0.94], p value 0.029). Out of 453 patients with a personal history of hypertension, 85 (18.76%) were taking ACEI/ARB (median age 65, SD 15.6; 56.47% females) and 368 (81.24%) were not on ACEI/ARB (median age 62.8, SD 16.4; 54.89% females), while 208 (45.92%) out of 453 were on CCB (median age 65; SD 14.8; 60.1% females) and 245 (54.08%) were not on CCB (median age 61.7, SD 17.3; 51.02% females). In the fully adjusted model in this group, ACEI use was associated with 71% reduction in in-house mortality (OR 0.29, 95% CI [0.09, 0.93], p value 0.03).
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Among all hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infection, exposure to ACEI/ARB, as well as combined exposure to ACEI/ARB and CCB, were associated with reduced incidence of ICU admissions. In those admitted patients who had a personal history of hypertension, there was a trend towards reduced in-hospital mortality in those exposed to ACEI.