Calcium channel blockers may reduce the development of long COVID in females

Hypertens Res. 2023 Nov 17. doi: 10.1038/s41440-023-01501-w. Online ahead of print.


With the rising numbers of patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, long coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-a sequelae of COVID-19-has become a major problem. Different sexes and age groups develop different long COVID symptoms, and the risk factors for long COVID remain unclear. Therefore, we performed subgroup analyses of patients with COVID-19, classifying them into different groups. In this multicenter cohort study, using an original questionnaire, we examined patients (≥18 years old) diagnosed with COVID-19 from November 2020 to March 2022 and hospitalized at participating medical facilities. In total, 1066 patients were registered (361 female, 620 male). Hypertension was the most common comorbidity (n = 344; 32.5%). Females with hypertension were significantly less likely to develop long COVID symptoms than those without hypertension (odds ratio [OR] 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.27-0.98; p = 0.043). In females, Ca channel blocker administration, rather than having hypertension, was significantly associated with reductions in the frequency of alopecia (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03-0.67, p = 0.015), memory impairment (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.02-0.82, p = 0.029), sleeping disorders (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.04-0.67, p = 0.012), tinnitus (OR 0.23, 95% CI 0.05-0.98, p = 0.047), sputum (OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.10-0.92, p = 0.035), and fever (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.12-0.93, p = 0.036). Several long COVID symptoms, including alopecia, were significantly negatively associated with Ca channel-blocker administration in female patients with long COVID. Calcium channel blockers may reduce the development of long COVID in females.

Keywords: Antihypertensive drug; COVID-19; Hypertension; Long COVID; SARS-CoV-2.