Effect of colchicine on mortality in patients with COVID-19 - A systematic review and meta-analysis

Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2022 Feb;16(2):102395. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2022.102395. Epub 2022 Jan 12.


Background and aim: This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to evaluate the latest evidence on the association between colchicine and mortality in patients with COVID-19.

Methods: We performed a comprehensive literature search from the PubMed, Scopus, Embase, EuropePMC, and Clinicaltrials.gov up until 02 January 2022. We include randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies reporting colchicine use in patients with COVID-19 and mortality within 30 days. The intervention group was patients given colchicine during the course of treatment. The control group was patients given placebo or standard of care at the respective institutions. The outcome was mortality. The effect estimate was reported as risk ratio (RR).

Results: There were 12 studies comprising of 6953 patients included in this meta-analysis. Mortality rate was 0.18 [95%CI 0.10, 0.26] in the colchicine group and 0.26 [95%CI 0.15, 0.38] in the control group. Colchicine was associated with reduction in mortality (RR 0.66 [95%CI 0.53, 0.83], p < 0.001; I2: 42%). Sensitivity analysis using fixed-effect model (RR 0.73 [95%CI 0.63, 0.83], p < 0.001; I2: 42%. Subgroup analysis on the four RCTs showed non-significant result (RR 0.81 [95%CI 0.54, 1.20], p = 0.29; I2: 10%). Meta-regression showed that the association between colchicine and reduced mortality was not affected by age (p = 0.613) [Fig. 3], sex (p = 0.915), diabetes (p = 0.795), and hypertension (p = 0.403).

Conclusion: Though the meta-analysis showed decreased mortality with colchicine in patients with COVID-19, the meta-analysis of randomized trials did not show any significant effect of colchicine on mortality.

Keywords: COVID-19; Colchicine; Coronavirus; Mortality; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 / mortality*
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • Colchicine / administration & dosage*
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • SARS-CoV-2 / physiology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Colchicine