Vol 24, No 3 (2020)
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Published online: 2020-09-21

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Severity of SARS-COV-2 infection and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers: a meta-analysis

Teodoro J. Oscanoa1, Xavier Vidal2, Alfonso Carvajal3, José Amado1, Roman Romero-Ortuno4
Arterial Hypertension 2020;24(3):106-114.


Background: The mechanism of entry of SARS-COV-2 into the human host cell is through the ACE2 receptor. During the pandemic, a hypothesis has been proposed that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) could be risk factors for the development of severe SARS-COV-2 infection. The objective of the study was to conduct a meta-analysis of the association between ACEI or ARB use and SARS-COV-2 infection severity or mortality.

Material and methods: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Google scholar and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for observational studies published between December 2019 and August 4, 2020 Studies were included if they contained data on ACEI or ARB use and SARS-COV-2 infection severity or mortality.

Effect statistics were pooled using random-effects models. The quality of included studies was assessed with the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale (NOS). Data on study design, study location, year of publication, number of participants, sex, age at baseline, outcome definition, exposure definition, effect estimates and 95% CIs were extracted.

Results: Twenty-six studies (21 cohort studies and 5 case-control studies) were identified for inclusion, combining to a total sample of 361467 participants. Mean age was 61.48 (SD 8.26) years and 51.63 % were men. The mean NOS score of included studies was 7.85 (range: 7–9). Results suggested that ACEI or ARB use did not increase the risk of severe disease or mortality from SARS-COV-2 infection (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.75–1.02, p > 0.05).

Conclusions: At present, the evidence available does not support the hypothesis of increased SARS-COV-2 risk with
ACEI or ARB drugs.

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