Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were already taking angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have a reduced risk of mortality, according to new findings published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The authors explored data from more than 700 patients who were treated in one of four regions in Italy from Feb. 22 to April 1, 2020. All patients were 50 years old or older, a choice the team made based on the work of prior researchers.
Prior to hospitalization, 21.9% of the cohort had already been using ACE inhibitors and another 17% were already on angiotensinogen II receptor blockers (ARBs). The overall mortality rate was 15.1%, and it increased with age.
Overall, the authors found, antecedent ACE inhibitor use was associated with reduced mortality after adjustments were made for age, hypertension, diabetes and congestive heart failure.
A “similar, but weaker trend” was also seen for ARBs.