Impact of Hydroxychloroquine on Mortality in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Hong, Thomas S. et al.
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Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused significant health and economic havoc around the globe. One of the early agents targeted for repurposing to treat and prevent COVID-19 was hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). In this systematic review and meta-analysis, HCQ is evaluated for its potential role in decreasing mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. We searched PubMed, Web of Science, and medRxiv databases using combinations of the terms “COVID-19”, “SARS-CoV-2”, “coronavirus”, “hydroxychloroquine”, and “mortality”. Articles were selected for further review based on the content of their abstracts. Studies were excluded if they were of poor methodological quality, were not based in the inpatient setting, or did not have available data to assess the primary outcome of death between patients treated with HCQ versus standard of care. Once the final dataset was compiled, a meta-analysis using the random-effects model was performed. Our search identified 14 studies involving 24,780 patients of whom 12,707 patients were on HCQ alone or in combination with other adjuvant therapies. HCQ alone or in combination with other drugs did not significantly decrease mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR], 0.95; 95% CI, 0.72–1.26; p = 0.732; I2 = 91.05). Similar findings were observed in all subgroup analyses. HCQ did not significantly impact mortality in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Additional well-designed studies are essential due to the heterogeneity in available studies.