Renin-angiotensin system inhibitors and susceptibility to COVID-19 in patients with hypertension: a propensity score-matched cohort study in primary care

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Introduction
Renin-angiotensin system (RAS) inhibitors have been postulated to influence susceptibility to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). This study investigated whether there is an association between their prescription and the incidence of COVID-19 and all-cause mortality.

Methods
We conducted a propensity-score matched cohort study comparing the incidence of COVID-19 among patients with hypertension prescribed ACE inhibitors or ARBs to those treated with calcium channel blockers (CCBs) in a large UK-based primary care database (The Health Improvement Network). We estimated crude incidence rates for confirmed/suspected COVID-19 in each drug exposure group. We used Cox proportional hazards models to produce adjusted hazard ratios for COVID-19. We assessed all-cause mortality as a secondary outcome.

Results
The incidence rate of COVID-19 among users of ACE inhibitors and CCBs was 9.3 per 1000 person-years (83 of 18,895 users [0.44%]) and 9.5 per 1000 person-years (85 of 18,895 [0.45%]), respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio was 0.92 (95% CI 0.68 to 1.26). The incidence rate among users of ARBs was 15.8 per 1000 person-years (79 out of 10,623 users [0.74%]). The adjusted hazard ratio was 1.38 (95% CI 0.98 to 1.95). There were no significant associations between use of RAS inhibitors and all-cause mortality.

Conclusion
Use of ACE inhibitors was not associated with the risk of COVID-19 whereas use of ARBs was associated with a statistically non-significant increase compared to the use of CCBs. However, no significant associations were observed between prescription of either ACE inhibitors or ARBs and all-cause mortality.

Bibliographic note

Funding: This study was not externally funded.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number262
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021