Chronic use of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone-System blockers and mortality in COVID-19: a multicenter prospective cohort and literature review

Link to article at PubMed

Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2021 Apr 20. doi: 10.1111/fcp.12683. Online ahead of print.


AIMS: The role of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) blockers on the course of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is debated. We assessed the association between chronic use of RAAS blockers and mortality among inpatients with COVID-19, and explored reasons for discrepancies in the literature.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We included adult hypertensive patients from a prospective nationwide cohort of 3512 inpatients with COVID-19 up to June 30, 2020. Cox proportional hazard models with various adjustment or propensity weighting methods were used to estimate the Hazard Ratios (HR) of 30-day mortality for chronic users versus non-users of RAAS blockers. We analyzed data of 1160 hypertensive patients; 719 (62%) were male, 777 (67%) were older than 65 years. The main comorbidities were diabetes (n=416, 36%), chronic cardiac disease (n=401, 35%) and obesity (n=340, 29%); 705 (61%) received oxygen therapy. We recorded 135 (11.6%) deaths within 30 days of diagnosis. We found no association between chronic use of RAAS blockers and mortality (unadjusted HR=1.13, 95% CI [0.8-1.6]; propensity inverse probability treatment weighted HR=1.09 [0.86-1.39]; propensity standardized mortality ratio weighted HR=1.08 [0.79-1.47]). Our comprehensive review of previous studies highlighted that significant associations were mostly found in unrestricted populations with inappropriate adjustment, or with biased in-hospital exposure measurement.

CONCLUSION: Our results do not support previous concerns regarding these drugs, nor a potential protective effect as reported in previous poorly designed studies and metanalyses. RAAS blockers should not be discontinued during the pandemic, while in-hospital management of these drugs will be clarified by randomized trials. NCT04262921.

PMID:33876439 | DOI:10.1111/fcp.12683

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