Covid-19 and cardiovascular risk: Susceptibility to infection to SARS-CoV-2, severity and prognosis of Covid-19 and blockade of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. An evidence-based viewpoint.
ABSTRACT: The presence of cardiovascular co-morbidities and the known effects of coronaviruses on the cardiovascular system have called attention to the potential implications for patients with cardiovascular risk factors. This evidence-based viewpoint will address two questions: (a) are individuals with underlying cardiovascular risk factors (e.g. high blood pressure or diabetes) or overt disease (e.g. coronary heart disease, heart failure, kidney disease) more likely to develop severe Covid-19 and to die than those without underlying conditions? (b) does the regular use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-i) or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARB) make patients more likely to get infected and to die of Covid-19? With a necessary cautionary note that the evidence around the links between Covid-19 and cardiovascular disease is accruing at a fast pace, to date we can conclude that: (a) the greater susceptibility of individuals with underlying cardiovascular conditions to develop more severe Covid-19 with higher mortality rate is likely to be confounded, in part, by age and the type of co-morbidities. Patients with heart failure or chronic kidney disease might show an excess risk; (b) neither ACE-i nor ARB are associated with greater risk of SARS-Cov2 infection, or severity or risk of death in patients with Covid-19. Patients on these drugs should not stop them, unless under strict medical supervision and with the addition of a suitable replacement medicine.
Project description:BACKGROUND:There is uncertainty about the associations of angiotensive enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) drugs with COVID-19 disease. We studied whether patients prescribed these drugs had altered risks of contracting severe COVID-19 disease and receiving associated intensive care unit (ICU) admission. METHODS:This was a prospective cohort study using routinely collected data from 1205 general practices in England with 8.28?million participants aged 20-99 years. We used Cox proportional hazards models to derive adjusted HRs for exposure to ACE inhibitor and ARB drugs adjusted for sociodemographic factors, concurrent medications and geographical region. The primary outcomes were: (a) COVID-19 RT-PCR diagnosed disease and (b) COVID-19 disease resulting in ICU care. FINDINGS:Of 19?486 patients who had COVID-19 disease, 1286 received ICU care. ACE inhibitors were associated with a significantly reduced risk of COVID-19 disease (adjusted HR 0.71, 95%?CI 0.67 to 0.74) but no increased risk of ICU care (adjusted HR 0.89, 95%?CI 0.75 to 1.06) after adjusting for a wide range of confounders. Adjusted HRs for ARBs were 0.63 (95% CI 0.59 to 0.67) for COVID-19 disease and 1.02 (95% CI 0.83 to 1.25) for ICU care.There were significant interactions between ethnicity and ACE inhibitors and ARBs for COVID-19 disease. The risk of COVID-19 disease associated with ACE inhibitors was higher in Caribbean (adjusted HR 1.05, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.28) and Black African (adjusted HR 1.31, 95% CI 1.08 to 1.59) groups than the white group (adjusted HR 0.66, 95%?CI 0.63 to 0.70). A higher risk of COVID-19 with ARBs was seen for Black African (adjusted HR 1.24, 95%?CI 0.99 to 1.58) than the white (adjusted HR 0.56, 95%?CI 0.52 to 0.62) group. INTERPRETATION:ACE inhibitors and ARBs are associated with reduced risks of COVID-19 disease after adjusting for a wide range of variables. Neither ACE inhibitors nor ARBs are associated with significantly increased risks of receiving ICU care. Variations between different ethnic groups raise the possibility of ethnic-specific effects of ACE inhibitors/ARBs on COVID-19 disease susceptibility and severity which deserves further study.
Project description:Background: Cardiometabolic morbidity and medications, specifically Angiotensin Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs), have been linked with adverse outcomes from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aims to investigate, factors associated with COVID-19 positivity in hospital for 1,436 UK Biobank participants; compared with individuals who tested negative, and with the untested, presumed negative, rest of the cohort. Methods: We studied 7,099 participants from the UK Biobank who had been tested for COVID-19 in hospital. We considered the following exposures: age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, ACEi/ARB use, prior myocardial infarction (MI), and smoking. We undertook comparisons between (1) COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative tested participants; and (2) COVID-19 tested positive and the remaining participants (tested negative plus untested, n = 494,838). Logistic regression models were used to investigate univariate and mutually adjusted associations. Results: Among participants tested for COVID-19, Black, Asian, and Minority ethnic (BAME) ethnicity, male sex, and higher BMI were independently associated with a positive result. BAME ethnicity, male sex, greater BMI, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking were independently associated with COVID-19 positivity compared to the remaining cohort (test negatives plus untested). However, similar associations were observed when comparing those who tested negative for COVID-19 with the untested cohort; suggesting that these factors associate with general hospitalization rather than specifically with COVID-19. Conclusions: Among participants tested for COVID-19 with presumed moderate to severe symptoms in a hospital setting, BAME ethnicity, male sex, and higher BMI are associated with a positive result. Other cardiometabolic morbidities confer increased risk of hospitalization, without specificity for COVID-19. ACE/ARB use did not associate with COVID-19 status.
Project description:AIMS:The current pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infects a wide age group but predominantly elderly individuals, especially men and those with cardiovascular disease. Recent reports suggest an association with use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a functional receptor for coronaviruses. Higher ACE2 concentrations might lead to increased vulnerability to SARS-CoV-2 in patients on RAAS inhibitors. METHODS AND RESULTS:We measured ACE2 concentrations in 1485 men and 537 women with heart failure (index cohort). Results were validated in 1123 men and 575 women (validation cohort).The median age was 69 years for men and 75 years for women. The strongest predictor of elevated concentrations of ACE2 in both cohorts was male sex (estimate = 0.26, P < 0.001; and 0.19, P < 0.001, respectively). In the index cohort, use of ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), or mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists (MRAs) was not an independent predictor of plasma ACE2. In the validation cohort, ACE inhibitor (estimate = -0.17, P = 0.002) and ARB use (estimate = -0.15, P = 0.03) were independent predictors of lower plasma ACE2, while use of an MRA (estimate = 0.11, P = 0.04) was an independent predictor of higher plasma ACE2 concentrations. CONCLUSION:In two independent cohorts of patients with heart failure, plasma concentrations of ACE2 were higher in men than in women, but use of neither an ACE inhibitor nor an ARB was associated with higher plasma ACE2 concentrations. These data might explain the higher incidence and fatality rate of COVID-19 in men, but do not support previous reports suggesting that ACE inhibitors or ARBs increase the vulnerability for COVID-19 through increased plasma ACE2 concentrations.
Project description:An association among the use of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) with the clinical outcomes of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is unclear. PubMed, EMBASE, MedRxiv, and BioRxiv were searched for relevant studies that assessed the association between application of ACEI/ARB and risk of COVID-19, inflammation level, severity COVID-19 infection, and death in patients with COVID-19. Eleven studies were included with 33?483 patients. ACEI/ARB therapy might be associated with the reduced inflammatory factor (interleukin-6) and elevated immune cells counts (CD3, CD8). Meta-analysis showed no significant increase in the risk of COVID-19 infection (odds ratio [OR]: 0.95, 95%CI: 0.89-1.05) in patients receiving ACEI/ARB therapy, and ACEI/ARB therapy was associated with a decreased risk of severe COVID-19 (OR: 0.75, 95%CI: 0.59-0.96) and mortality (OR: 0.52, 95%CI: 0.35-0.79). Subgroup analyses showed among the general population, ACEI/ARB therapy was associated with reduced severe COVID-19 infection (OR: 0.79, 95%CI: 0.60-1.05) and all-cause mortality (OR: 0.31, 95%CI: 0.13-0.75), and COVID-19 infection (OR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.66-1.08) were not increased. Among patients with hypertension, the use of an ACEI/ARB was associated with a lower severity of COVID-19 (OR: 0.73, 95%CI: 0.51-1.03) and lower mortality (OR: 0.57, 95%CI: 0.37-0.87), without evidence of an increased risk of COVID-19 infection (OR: 1.00). On the basis of the available evidence, ACEI/ARB therapy should be continued in patients who are at risk for, or have COVID-19, either in general population or hypertension patients. Our results need to be interpreted with caution considering the potential for residual confounders, and more well-designed studies that control the clinical confounders are necessary to confirm our findings.
Project description:<h4>Introduction and objectives</h4>Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been designated a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. It is unclear whether previous treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) affects the prognosis of COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical implications of previous treatment with ACEI/ARB on the prognosis of patients with COVID-19 infection.<h4>Methods</h4>Single-center, retrospective, observational cohort study based on all the inhabitants of our health area. Analyses of main outcomes (mortality, heart failure, hospitalization, intensive care unit [ICU] admission, and major acute cardiovascular events [a composite of mortality and heart failure]) were adjusted by multivariate logistic regression and propensity score matching models.<h4>Results</h4>Of the total population, 447 979 inhabitants, 965 patients (0.22%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, and 210 (21.8%) were under ACEI or ARB treatment at the time of diagnosis. Treatment with ACEI/ARB (combined and individually) had no effect on mortality (OR, 0.62; 95%CI, 0.17-2.26; <i>P</i> = .486), heart failure (OR, 1.37; 95%CI, 0.39-4.77; <i>P</i> = .622), hospitalization rate (OR, 0.85; 95%CI, 0.45-1.64; <i>P</i> = .638), ICU admission (OR, 0.87; 95%CI, 0.30-2.50; <i>P</i> = .798), or major acute cardiovascular events (OR, 1.06; 95%CI, 0.39-2.83; <i>P</i> = .915). This neutral effect remained in a subgroup analysis of patients requiring hospitalization.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Previous treatment with ACEI/ARB in patients with COVID-19 had no effect on mortality, heart failure, requirement for hospitalization, or ICU admission. Withdrawal of ACEI/ARB in patients testing positive for COVID-19 would not be justified, in line with current recommendations of scientific societies and government agencies.
Project description:<h4>Introduction and objectives</h4>Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been designated a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. It is unclear whether previous treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) affects the prognosis of COVID-19 patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical implications of previous treatment with ACEI/ARB on the prognosis of patients with COVID-19 infection.<h4>Methods</h4>Single-center, retrospective, observational cohort study based on all the inhabitants of our health area. Analyses of main outcomes (mortality, heart failure, hospitalization, intensive care unit [ICU] admission, and major acute cardiovascular events [a composite of mortality and heart failure]) were adjusted by multivariate logistic regression and propensity score matching models.<h4>Results</h4>Of the total population, 447 979 inhabitants, 965 patients (0.22%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, and 210 (21.8%) were under ACEI or ARB treatment at the time of diagnosis. Treatment with ACEI/ARB (combined and individually) had no effect on mortality (OR, 0.62; 95%CI, 0.17-2.26; P=.486), heart failure (OR, 1.37; 95%CI, 0.39-4.77; P=.622), hospitalization rate (OR, 0.85; 95%CI, 0.45-1.64; P=.638), ICU admission (OR, 0.87; 95%CI, 0.30-2.50; P=.798), or major acute cardiovascular events (OR, 1.06; 95%CI, 0.39-2.83; P=.915). This neutral effect remained in a subgroup analysis of patients requiring hospitalization.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Previous treatment with ACEI/ARB in patients with COVID-19 had no effect on mortality, heart failure, requirement for hospitalization, or ICU admission. Withdrawal of ACEI/ARB in patients testing positive for COVID-19 would not be justified, in line with current recommendations of scientific societies and government agencies.
Project description:The rapid spread of a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has led to an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Recently, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been shown to be a functional receptor for SARS-CoV-2 to enter host target cells. Given that angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and an ACE inhibitor (ACEI) upregulated ACE2 expression in animal studies, the concern might arise regarding whether ARBs and ACEIs would increase the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19. On the other hand, animal data suggested a potential protective effect of ARBs against COVID-19 pneumonia because an ARB prevented the aggravation of acute lung injury in mice infected with SARS-CoV, which is closely related to SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, however, there is no clinical or experimental evidence supporting that ARBs and ACEIs either augment the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 or aggravate the severity and outcomes of COVID-19 at present. Until further data are available, it is recommended that ARB and ACEI medications be continued for the treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease and hypertension, especially those at high risk, according to guideline-directed medical therapy based on the currently available evidence.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The hypothesis that been set forward that use of Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System (RAAS) inhibitors is associated with COVID-19 severity. We set-up a multicenter Italian collaboration (CORIST Project, ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT04318418) to retrospectively investigate the relationship between RAAS inhibitors and COVID-19 in-hospital mortality. We also carried out an updated meta-analysis on the relevant studies. METHODS:We analyzed 4,069 unselected patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and hospitalized in 34 clinical centers in Italy from February 19, 2020 to May 23, 2020. The primary end-point in a time-to event analysis was in-hospital death, comparing patients who received angiotensin-converting-enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARB) with patients who did not. Articles for the meta-analysis were retrieved until July 13th, 2020 by searching in web-based libraries, and data were combined using the general variance-based method. RESULTS:Out of 4,069 COVID-19 patients, 13.5% and 13.3% received ACE-I or ARB, respectively. Use of neither ACE-I nor ARB was associated with mortality (multivariable hazard ratio (HR) adjusted also for COVID-19 treatments: 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.77-1.20 and HR=0.89, 0.67-1.19 for ACE-I and ARB, respectively). Findings were similar restricting the analysis to hypertensive (N=2,057) patients (HR=1.00, 0.78-1.26 and HR=0.88, 0.65-1.20) or when ACE-I or ARB were considered as a single group. Results from the meta-analysis (19 studies, 29,057 COVID-19 adult patients, 9,700 with hypertension) confirmed the absence of association. CONCLUSIONS:In this observational study and meta-analysis of the literature, ACE-I or ARB use was not associated with severity or in-hospital mortality in COVID-19 patients.
Project description:Medications aimed at inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) have been used extensively for preventing cardiovascular and renal complications in patients with diabetes, but data that compare their clinical effectiveness are limited. We aimed to compare the effects of classes of RAS blockers on cardiovascular and renal outcomes in adults with diabetes.Eligible trials were identified by electronic searches in PubMed/MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1 January 2004 to 17 July 2014). Interventions of interest were angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), and direct renin (DR) inhibitors. The primary endpoints were cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke-singly and as a composite endpoint, major cardiovascular outcome-and end-stage renal disease [ESRD], doubling of serum creatinine, and all-cause mortality-singly and as a composite endpoint, progression of renal disease. Secondary endpoints were angina pectoris and hospitalization for heart failure. In all, 71 trials (103,120 participants), with a total of 14 different regimens, were pooled using network meta-analyses. When compared with ACE inhibitor, no other RAS blocker used in monotherapy and/or combination was associated with a significant reduction in major cardiovascular outcomes: ARB (odds ratio [OR] 1.02; 95% credible interval [CrI] 0.90-1.18), ACE inhibitor plus ARB (0.97; 95% CrI 0.79-1.19), DR inhibitor plus ACE inhibitor (1.32; 95% CrI 0.96-1.81), and DR inhibitor plus ARB (1.00; 95% CrI 0.73-1.38). For the risk of progression of renal disease, no significant differences were detected between ACE inhibitor and each of the remaining therapies: ARB (OR 1.10; 95% CrI 0.90-1.40), ACE inhibitor plus ARB (0.97; 95% CrI 0.72-1.29), DR inhibitor plus ACE inhibitor (0.99; 95% CrI 0.65-1.57), and DR inhibitor plus ARB (1.18; 95% CrI 0.78-1.84). No significant differences were showed between ACE inhibitors and ARBs with respect to all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, stroke, angina pectoris, hospitalization for heart failure, ESRD, or doubling serum creatinine. Findings were limited by the clinical and methodological heterogeneity of the included studies. Potential inconsistency was identified in network meta-analyses of stroke and angina pectoris, limiting the conclusiveness of findings for these single endpoints.In adults with diabetes, comparisons of different RAS blockers showed similar effects of ACE inhibitors and ARBs on major cardiovascular and renal outcomes. Compared with monotherapies, the combination of an ACE inhibitor and an ARB failed to provide significant benefits on major outcomes. Clinicians should discuss the balance between benefits, costs, and potential harms with individual diabetes patients before starting treatment.PROSPERO CRD42014014404.
Project description:RATIONALE:Hypertension, obesity and diabetes are major risk factors associated with morbidities underlying COVID-19 infections. Regression analysis correlated presence of ACE insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism to COVID-19 incidence and mortality. Furthermore, COVID-19 prevalence correlated to allele frequency of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) deletion (D) polymorphism within the European population. OBJECTIVE:Homozygous ACE deletion polymorphism is associated with increase in ACE and angiotensin II (Ang-II), sustained levels can result in inflammation, fibrosis and organ damage. The ACE DD polymorphism is also associated with hypertension, acute respiratory distress and diabetic nephropathy, all considered high risk for COVID-19 infection and outcomes. The study objective was to describe a biological framework associating ethnic prevalence of ACE deletion polymorphism to COVID-19 comorbidities providing rationale for therapeutic utility of ACE-I/ARBs to improve outcomes. METHOD AND RESULTS:The Allele Frequency Database (ALFRED) was queried for frequency of rs4646994 representing ACE I/D polymorphism. In a total of 349 worldwide population samples, frequency of ACE D allele was higher in European, Asian, and Africans cohorts. In the USA, the frequency of ACE D allele was higher in non-Hispanic Black compared with non-Hispanic White and Mexican Americans. CONCLUSION:COVID-19 binding mediated reduction/inactivation of ACE-II can increase ACE/Ang-II signalling pathway and related pathologies. The presence of ACE DD polymorphism with COVID-19 infection likely augments ACE/Ang-II activities, increasing severity of COVID-19 morbidities and impacts outcomes. Thus, ethnic prevalence of ACE DD polymorphism can explain in part the severity of COVID-19 morbidity providing rationale for the use of ACE-I/ARBs to improve outcomes.