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.
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