Statin use and mortality in COVID-19 patients: Updated systematic review and meta-analysis

Atherosclerosis. 2021 Aug:330:114-121. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.06.911. Epub 2021 Jun 25.


Background and aims: Statin therapy is administered to patients with high cardiovascular risk. These patients are also at risk for severe course of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Statins exhibit not only cardioprotective but also immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. This study performed a systematic review of published evidence regarding statin treatment and COVID-19 related mortality.

Methods: A systematic PubMed/Embase search was performed from February 10, 2020 until March 05, 2021 for studies in COVID-19 patients that reported adjusted hazard or odds ratio for death in statin users versus non-users.

Results: 22 studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review. Meta-analysis of 10 studies (n = 41,807, weighted age 56 ± 8 years, men 51%, hypertension 34%, diabetes 21%, statin users 14%) that reported adjusted hazard ratios for mortality in statin users versus non-users showed pooled estimate at 0.65 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.53, 0.81). Meta-analysis of 6 studies that reported continuation of statin therapy during hospitalization (58-100% of patients) revealed a pooled hazard ratio of 0.54 (95% CI 0.47, 0.62). Meta-analysis of 12 studies (n = 72,881, weighted age 65 ± 2 years, men 54%, hypertension 66%, diabetes 43%, statin users 30%) that reported adjusted odds ratios for mortality showed pooled estimate at 0.65 (95% CI 0.55, 0.78). Multivariable meta-regression analysis did not reveal any significant association of hazard or odds ratios with anthropometric characteristics or comorbidities.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis of retrospective observational studies showed that statin therapy was associated with an about 35% decrease in the adjusted risk of mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Keywords: COVID-19; Death; Meta-analysis; Mortality; SARS-CoV-2; Statins.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • COVID-19*
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors