Renin-angiotensin system blocker and outcomes of COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Thorax. 2021 Jan 27;thoraxjnl-2020-215322. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-215322. Online ahead of print.


Background: The association of ACE inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) with disease severity of patients with COVID-19 is still unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate if ACEI/ARB use is associated with the risk of mortality and severe disease in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: We searched all available clinical studies that included patients with confirmed COVID-19 who could be classified into an ACEI/ARB group and a non-ACEI/ARB group up until 4 May 2020. A meta-analysis was performed, and primary outcomes were all-cause mortality and severe disease.

Results: ACEI/ARB use did not increase the risk of all-cause mortality both in meta-analysis for 11 studies with 12 601 patients reporting ORs (OR=0.52 (95% CI=0.37 to 0.72), moderate certainty of evidence) and in 2 studies with 8577 patients presenting HRs. For 12 848 patients in 13 studies, ACEI/ARB use was not related to an increased risk of severe disease in COVID-19 (OR=0.68 (95% CI=0.44 to 1.07); I2=95%, low certainty of evidence).

Conclusions: ACEI/ARB therapy was not associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality or severe manifestations in patients with COVID-19. ACEI/ARB therapy can be continued without concern of drug-related worsening in patients with COVID-19.

Keywords: viral infection.