This article is free to access.
Background: Reports on the effects of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors on the clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) have been conflicting. We performed this meta-analysis to find conclusive evidence. Methods: We searched published articles through PubMed, EMBASE and medRxiv from 5 January 2020 to 3 August 2020. Studies that reported clinical outcomes of patients with COVID-19, stratified by the class of antihypertensives, were included. Random and fixed-effects models were used to estimate pooled odds ratio (OR). Results: A total 36 studies involving 30,795 patients with COVID-19 were included. The overall risk of poor patient outcomes (severe COVID-19 or death) was lower in patients taking RAAS inhibitors (OR = 0.79, 95% CI: [0.67, 0.95]) compared with those receiving non-RAAS inhibitor antihypertensives. However, further sub-meta-analysis showed that specific RAAS inhibitors did not show a reduction of poor COVID-19 outcomes when compared with any class of antihypertensive except beta-blockers (BBs). For example, compared to calcium channel blockers (CCBs), neither angiotensin-I-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) (OR = 0.91, 95% CI: [0.67, 1.23]) nor angiotensin-II receptor blockers (ARBs) (OR = 0.90, 95% CI: [0.62, 1.33]) showed a reduction of poor COVID-19 outcomes. When compared with BBs, however, both ACEIs (OR = 0.85, 95% CI: [0.73, 0.99) and ARBs (OR = 0.72, 95% CI: [0.55, 0.94]) showed an apparent decrease in poor COVID-19 outcomes. Conclusions: RAAS inhibitors did not increase the risk of mortality or severity of COVID-19. Differences in COVID-19 clinical outcomes between different class of antihypertensive drugs were likely due to the underlying comorbidities for which the antihypertensive drugs were prescribed, although adverse effects of drugs such as BBs could not be excluded.
Bezabih, Y. M., Bezabih, A., Alamneh, E., Peterson, G. M., & Bezabhe, W. (2021). Comparison of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors with other antihypertensives in association with coronavirus disease-19 clinical outcomes. BMC Infectious Diseases, 21(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12879-021-06088-6