Effect of continuing the use of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors on mortality in patients hospitalized for coronavirus disease 2019: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression analysis

Link to article at PubMed

BMC Infect Dis. 2023 Jan 24;23(1):53. doi: 10.1186/s12879-023-07994-7.


BACKGROUND: The effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs)/angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) on mortality was preliminarily explored through the comparison of ACEIs/ARBs with non-ACEIs/ARBs in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Reaching a conclusion on whether previous ACEI/ARB treatment should be continued in view of the different ACE2 levels in the comparison groups was not unimpeachable. Therefore, this study aimed to further elucidate the effect of ACEI/ARB continuation on hospital mortality, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) in the same patient population.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Ovid, and Embase for relevant articles published between December 1, 2019 and April 30, 2022. Continuation of ACEI/ARB use after hospitalization due to COVID-19 was considered as an exposure and discontinuation of ACEI/ARB considered as a control. The primary outcome was hospital mortality, and the secondary outcomes included 30-day mortality, rate of ICU admission, IMV, and other clinical outcomes.

RESULTS: Seven observational studies and four randomized controlled trials involving 2823 patients were included. The pooled hospital mortality in the continuation group (13.04%, 158/1212) was significantly lower than that (22.15%, 278/1255) in the discontinuation group (risk ratio [RR] = 0.45; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-0.72; P = 0.001). Continuation of ACEI/ARB use was associated with lower rates of ICU admission (10.5% versus 16.2%, RR = 0.63; 95% CI 0.5-0.79; P < 0.0001) and IMV (8.2% versus 12.5%, RR = 0.62; 95% CI 0.46-0.83, P = 0.001). Nevertheless, the effect was mainly demonstrated in the observational study subgroup (P < 0.05). Continuing ACEI/ARB had no significant effect on 30-day mortality (P = 0.34), acute myocardial infarction (P = 0.08), heart failure (P = 0.82), and acute kidney injury after hospitalization (P = 0.98).

CONCLUSION: Previous ACEI/ARB treatment could be continued since it was associated with lower hospital deaths, ICU admission, and IMV in patients with COVID-19, although the benefits of continuing use were mainly shown in observational studies. More evidence from multicenter RCTs are still needed to increase the robustness of the data. Trial registration PROSPERO (CRD42022341169). Registered 27 June 2022.

PMID:36694122 | PMC:PMC9872739 | DOI:10.1186/s12879-023-07994-7

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