ACE inhibitors, AT1 receptor blockers and COVID-19: clinical epidemiology evidences for a continuation of treatments. The ACER-COVID study
Dauchet, Luc et al.
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Aims: The question of interactions between the renin angiotensin aldosterone system drugs and the incidence and prognosis of COVID-19 infection has been raised by the medical community. We hypothesised that if patients treated with ACE inhibitors (ACEI) or AT1 receptor blockers (ARB) were more prone to SARS-CoV2 infection and had a worse prognosis than untreated patients, the prevalence of consumption of these drugs would be higher in patients with COVID-19 compared to the general population. Methods and results: We used a clinical epidemiology approach based on the estimation of standardised prevalence ratio (SPR) of consumption of ACEI and ARB in four groups of patients (including 187 COVID-19 positive) with increasing severity referred to the University hospital of Lille and in three French reference samples (the exhaustive North population (n=1,569,968), a representative sample of the French population (n=414,046), a random sample of Lille area (n=1,584)). The SPRs of ACEI and ARB did not differ as the severity of the COVID-19 patients increased, being similar to the regular consumption of these drugs in the North of France population with the same non-significant increase for both treatment (1.17 [0.83-1.67]). A statistically significant increase in the SPR of ARB (1.56 [1.02-2.39]) was observed in intensive care unit patients only. After stratification on obesity, this increase was limited to the high risk subgroup of obese patients. Conclusions: Our results strongly support the recommendation that ACEI and ARB should be continued in the population and in COVID-19 positive patients, reinforcing the position of several scientific societies.