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1.
Pediatric Infection & Vaccine ; : 33-38, 2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1002703

ABSTRACT

A case of persistent Ralstonia mannitolilytica bacteremia in the neonatal intensive care unit prompted source investigation due to its rarity. After an extensive investigation, a contaminated ultrasonic nebulizer was identified as the source, and the infection was controlled by removing the source. This study emphasizes the importance of further investigations, even in single cases of rare pathogens.

2.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e189-2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-1001144

ABSTRACT

Background@#Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral infection, antibiotics are often prescribed due to concerns about accompanying bacterial infection. Therefore, we aimed to analyze the number of patients with COVID-19 who received antibiotic prescriptions, as well as factors that influenced antibiotics prescription, using the National Health Insurance System database. @*Methods@#We retrospectively reviewed claims data for adults aged ≥ 19 years hospitalized for COVID-19 from December 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020. According to the National Institutes of Health guidelines for severity classification, we calculated the proportion of patients who received antibiotics and the number of days of therapy per 1,000 patient-days. Factors contributing to antibiotic use were determined using linear regression analysis. In addition, antibiotic prescription data for patients with influenza hospitalized from 2018 to 2021 were compared with those for patients with COVID-19, using an integrated database from Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency-COVID19-National Health Insurance Service cohort (K-COV-N cohort), which was partially adjusted and obtained from October 2020 to December 2021. @*Results@#Of the 55,228 patients, 46.6% were males, 55.9% were aged ≥ 50 years, and most patients (88.7%) had no underlying diseases. The majority (84.3%; n = 46,576) were classified as having mild-to-moderate illness, with 11.2% (n = 6,168) and 4.5% (n = 2,484) having severe and critical illness, respectively. Antibiotics were prescribed to 27.3% (n = 15,081) of the total study population, and to 73.8%, 87.6%, and 17.9% of patients with severe, critical, and mild-to-moderate illness, respectively. Fluoroquinolones were the most commonly prescribed antibiotics (15.1%; n = 8,348), followed by third-generation cephalosporins (10.4%; n = 5,729) and beta-lactam/beta-lactamase inhibitors (6.9%; n = 3,822). Older age, COVID-19 severity, and underlying medical conditions contributed significantly to antibiotic prescription requirement. The antibiotic use rate was higher in the influenza group (57.1%) than in the total COVID-19 patient group (21.2%), and higher in severe-to-critical COVID-19 cases (66.6%) than in influenza cases. @*Conclusion@#Although most patients with COVID-19 had mild to moderate illness, more than a quarter were prescribed antibiotics. Judicious use of antibiotics is necessary for patients with COVID-19, considering the severity of disease and risk of bacterial co-infection.

3.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e129-2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-976938

ABSTRACT

Background@#Alpha-toxin (AT), a major virulence factor of Staphylococcus aureus, is an important immunotherapeutic target to prevent or treat invasive S. aureus infections. Previous studies have suggested that anti-AT antibodies (Abs) may have a protective role against S. aureus bacteremia (SAB), but their function remains unclear. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association between serum anti-AT Ab levels and clinical outcomes of SAB. @*Methods@#Patients from a prospective SAB cohort at a tertiary-care medical center (n = 51) were enrolled in the study from July 2016 to January 2019. Patients without symptoms or signs of infection were enrolled as controls (n = 100). Blood samples were collected before the onset of SAB and at 2- and 4-weeks post-bacteremia. Anti-AT immunoglobin G (IgG) levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. All clinical S. aureus isolates were tested for the presence of hla using polymerase chain reaction. @*Results@#Anti-AT IgG levels in patients with SAB before the onset of bacteremia did not differ significantly from those in non-infectious controls. Pre-bacteremic anti-AT IgG levels tended to be lower in patients with worse clinical outcomes (7-day mortality, persistent bacteremia, metastatic infection, septic shock), although the differences were not statistically significant. Patients who needed intensive care unit care had significantly lower anti-AT IgG levels at 2 weeks post-bacteremia (P = 0.020). @*Conclusion@#The study findings suggest that lower anti-AT Ab responses before and during SAB, reflective of immune dysfunction, are associated with more severe clinical presentations of infection.

4.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e101-2023.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-976925

ABSTRACT

The current guidelines for therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) of vancomycin suggest a target 24-hour area under the curve (AUC 0-24 ) of 400 to 600 mg*h/L for serious methicillinresistant Staphylococcus aureus infections. In this study, the predictabilities of acute kidney injury (AKI) of various TDM target parameters, target levels, and sampling methods were evaluated in patients who underwent TDM from January 2020 to December 2020. The AUC 0-24 and trough values were calculated by both one- and two-point sampling methods, and were evaluated for the predictability of AKI. Among the AUC 0-24 cutoff comparisons, the threshold value of 500 mg*h/L in the two sampling methods was statistically significant (P = 0.042) when evaluated for the predictability of AKI. Analysis by an receiver operating characteristic curve estimated an AUC 0-24 cutoff value of 563.45 mg*h/L as a predictor of AKI, and was proposed as the upper limit of TDM target.

5.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 599-609, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-968910

ABSTRACT

Identifying inappropriately prescribed antibiotics for infectious diseases by monitoring the quality of antibiotics use is essential for effective implementation of antibiotic stewardship. Qualitative assessment of the use of antibiotics has been conducted in some countries, including Korea, since the 2000s. The qualitative assessment generally involves an assessment of each component of the antibiotics prescription process, based on specific criteria. However, there is no standardized assessment method or cycle, and infectious diseases or antibiotics included in the assessments vary from country-to-country.According to the results reported in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Korea so far, approximately 20 - 55% of all antibiotics prescriptions are inappropriate. In this review, we describe the current progress in the quality assessment of the use of antibiotics on a global scale. Further, we highlight the future directions to improve antibiotic stewardship activities and the quality assessment of the use of antibiotics in Korea.

6.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 621-636, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-968904

ABSTRACT

Reducing antibiotics overuse is essential to minimize antibiotics related side effects and to prevent the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria. Procalcitonin (PCT) guided antibiotics therapy has been reported to be safe in patients with acute respiratory infections and sepsis, improving clinical outcomes as well as reducing the duration of antibiotics use.However, there is still no universal agreement on clinical guidelines in Korea for optimal PCT applications. Through this expert consensus meeting, clinical research findings in the PCT-guided antibiotics treatment interventions and real-world clinical applications were discussed. From the perspective of antibiotic stewardship, PCT application target groups, cut-offs, and testing cycles were discussed to reach a consensus on the PCT-guided antibiotics treatment algorithm for application in Korea. Combining clinical assessment for patients with an appropriate PCT-guided antibiotics treatment algorithm could improve the diagnosis and treatment of acute respiratory infections and sepsis. In addition, continuous education and regular feedback would improve the effectiveness of antibiotic stewardship.

7.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 637-673, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-968903

ABSTRACT

Currently, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major threat to global public health. The antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) has been proposed as an important approach to overcome this crisis. ASP supports the optimal use of antimicrobials, including appropriate dosing decisions, administration duration, and administration routes. In Korea, efforts are being made to overcome AMR using ASPs as a national policy. The current study aimed to develop core elements of ASP that could be introduced in domestic medical facilities. A Delphi survey was conducted twice to select the core elements through expert consensus.The core elements for implementing the ASP included (1) leadership commitment, (2) operating system, (3) action, (4) tracking, (5) reporting, and (6) education. To ensure these core elements are present at medical facilities, multiple departments must collaborate as teams for ASP operations. Establishing a reimbursement system and a workforce for ASPs are prerequisites for implementing ASPs. To ensure that ASP core elements are actively implemented in medical facilities, it is necessary to provide financial support for ASPs in medical facilities, nurture the healthcare workforce in performing ASPs, apply the core elements to healthcare accreditation, and provide incentives to medical facilities by quality evaluation criteria.

8.
Laboratory Animal Research ; : 119-127, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-938815

ABSTRACT

Background@#As the number of large-scale studies involving multiple organizations producing data has steadily increased, an integrated system for a common interoperable format is needed. In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a number of global efforts are underway to develop vaccines and therapeutics. We are therefore observing an explosion in the proliferation of COVID-19 data, and interoperability is highly requested in multiple institutions participating simultaneously in COVID-19 pandemic research. @*Results@#In this study, a laboratory information management system (LIMS) approach has been adopted to systemically manage various COVID-19 non-clinical trial data, including mortality, clinical signs, body weight, body temperature, organ weights, viral titer (viral replication and viral RNA), and multiorgan histopathology, from multiple institutions based on a web interface. The main aim of the implemented system is to integrate, standardize, and organize data collected from laboratories in multiple institutes for COVID-19 non-clinical efficacy testings. Six animal biosafety level 3 institutions proved the feasibility of our system. Substantial benefits were shown by maximizing collaborative high-quality non-clinical research. @*Conclusions@#This LIMS platform can be used for future outbreaks, leading to accelerated medical product development through the systematic management of extensive data from non-clinical animal studies.

9.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e191-2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-938070

ABSTRACT

Background@#The Korea National Antimicrobial Use Analysis System (KONAS), a benchmarking system for antimicrobial use in hospitals, provides Korean Standardized Antimicrobial Administration Ratio (K-SAAR) for benchmarking. This article describes K-SAAR predictive models to enhance the understanding of K-SAAR, an important benchmarking strategy for antimicrobial usage in KONAS. @*Methods@#We obtained medical insurance claims data for all hospitalized patients aged ≥ 28 days in all secondary and tertiary care hospitals in South Korea (n = 347) from January 2019 to December 2019 from the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service. Modeling was performed to derive a prediction value for antimicrobial use in each institution, which corresponded to the denominator value for calculating K-SAAR. The prediction values of antimicrobial use were modeled separately for each category, for all inpatients and adult patients (aged ≥ 15 years), using stepwise negative binomial regression. @*Results@#The final models for each antimicrobial category were adjusted for different significant risk factors. In the K-SAAR models of all aged patients as well as adult patients, most antimicrobial categories included the number of hospital beds and the number of operations as significant factors, while some antimicrobial categories included mean age for inpatients, hospital type, and the number of patients transferred from other hospitals as significant factors. @*Conclusion@#We developed a model to predict antimicrobial use rates in Korean hospitals, and the model was used as the denominator of the K-SAAR.

10.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 360-363, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-937672

ABSTRACT

The STANDARD™ M10 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) assay (M10 assay) (SD Biosensor Inc., Suwon, Korea) is a rapid, fully-automated, cartridgetype molecular diagnostic assay that detects SARS-CoV-2 RNA using primers and probes for each target gene (ORF1ab gene, E gene). This study evaluated its performance by assessing its concordance with the approved SARS-CoV-2 real-time PCR assay. Tests were performed on 80 nasopharyngeal samples. The sensitivity and specificity of the M10 assay were 100%.The M10 assay effectively diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 infection, and it was comparable to the approved SARS-CoV-2 real-time PCR assay. It is a viable point-of-care test due to its short turnaround time.

11.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e126-2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-925892

ABSTRACT

Background@#The relationship between changes in anxiety levels and personal protective equipment (PPE) use is yet to be evaluated. The present study assessed this relationship among healthcare workers (HCWs) involved in the care of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). @*Methods@#An online survey was conducted in a municipal hospital with 195 nationally designated negative pressure isolation units in Korea. Anxiety level was measured using the self-rating anxiety scale (SAS), and changes in anxiety levels were assessed based on the time when COVID-19 vaccine was introduced in March 2021 in Korea. Monthly PPE usage between June 2020 and May 2021 was investigated. @*Results@#The mean SAS score (33.25 ± 5.97) was within normal range and was lower than those reported in previous studies conducted before COVID-19 vaccination became available.Among the 93 HCWs who participated, 64 (68.8%) answered that their fear of contracting COVID-19 decreased after vaccination. The number of coveralls used per patient decreased from 33.6 to 0. However, a demand for more PPE than necessary was observed in situations where HCWs were exposed to body fluids and secretions (n = 38, 40.9%). Excessive demand for PPE was not related to age, working experience, or SAS score. @*Conclusion@#Anxiety in HCWs exposed to COVID-19 was lower than it was during the early period of the pandemic, and the period before vaccination was introduced. The number of coveralls used per patient also decreased although an excessive demand for PPE was observed.

12.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 483-492, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-946171

ABSTRACT

Background@#It is necessary to develop a roadmap for antimicrobial usage monitoring in order to perform monitoring of antimicrobial use at the national level properly. Therefore, this study aimed to develop a roadmap for establishing surveillance and monitoring of antimicrobial use in medical institutions at the national level. @*Materials and Methods@#A modified Delphi study was conducted, including 3 rounds of an online survey and a virtual meeting with 16 expert panels. The survey items were developed based on a literature review of the surveillance systems for antimicrobial use in 12 countries and interviews with experts. The questionnaire was designed to include both the surveillance and benchmarking systems. @*Results@#Regarding the scope of target institutions to be included in the surveillance system, medical institutions for sentinel surveillance had the highest proportion of agreement among the panels (75.0%, 9/12). For the benchmarking system, “tertiary- and secondarycare hospitals” were accepted as the scope of target institutions at the current moment.Furthermore, the National Health Insurance claims and prescription data of individual hospitals were considered appropriate data sources for the surveillance system. As for the measures to promote the participation of hospitals in the benchmarking system, “compensation through the establishment of antimicrobial management fees” and “set the participation in the program as a quality evaluation or accreditation index for hospital evaluation” were accepted. @*Conclusion@#This study provides a roadmap for establishing an antimicrobial use monitoring and benchmarking system for medical institutions at a national level in Korea.

13.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 517-528, 2022.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-946167

ABSTRACT

Background@#Self-sampling procedures to detect severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is important for patients who have difficulty visiting the hospital and may decrease the burden for health care workers (HCWs). The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance, stability and usability of self-collected nasal and oral combo swabs and saliva specimens. @*Materials and Methods@#We conducted a case-control study with 50 patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and 50 healthy volunteers from March, 2021 to June, 2021. We performed real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction to compare the diagnostic performance of self-collected specimens using positive percent agreements (PPAs). @*Results@#The PPAs between self-collected and HCW-collected specimens were 77.3 - 81.0% and 80.5 -86.7% for the combo swabs and saliva specimens, respectively. The PPAs increased to 88.9 - 89.2% and 81.2 - 82.1% with a cycle threshold value ≤30. @*Conclusion@#The diagnostic performance of self sampling was comparable to that of HCW sampling in patients with high viral loads and may thus assist in the early diagnosis of COVID-19.

14.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 11-14, 2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-875439

ABSTRACT

Recently, the number of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who have tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV-2), via the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, after recovery has increased; this has caused a dilemma regarding the medical measures and policies. We evaluated the dynamics of viral load and anti-SARSCoV-2 antibodies in four patients with positive RT-PCR results after recovery. In all patients, the highest levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies were reached after about a month of the onset of the initial symptoms. Then, the IgG titers plateaued, and the IgM titers decreased, regardless of RT-PCR results.The IgG and IgM levels did not increase after the post-negative positive RT-PCR results in any of the patients. Our results reinforced that the post-negative positive RT-PCR results may be due to the detection of RNA particles rather than reinfection in individuals who have recovered from COVID-19.

15.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e343-2021.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-915441

ABSTRACT

As hospitals cater to elderly and vulnerable patients, a high mortality rate is expected if a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak occurs. Consequently, policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in hospital settings are essential. This study was conducted to investigate how effectively national and international guidelines provide recommendations for infection control issues in hospitals. After selecting important issues in infection control, we performed a systematic review and analysis of recommendations and guidelines for preventing COVID-19 transmission within medical institutions at national and international levels. We analyzed guidelines from the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Recent guidelines do not provide specific solutions to infection control issues. Therefore, efforts need to be made to devise consistent advice and guidelines for COVID-19 control.

16.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : 77-2020.
Article in English | WPRIM | ID: wpr-810938

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease with high mortality in East Asia. This study aimed to develop, for primary care providers, a prediction score using initial symptoms and basic laboratory blood tests to differentiate between SFTS and other endemic zoonoses in Korea.METHODS: Patients aged ≥ 18 years diagnosed with endemic zoonoses during a 3-year period (between January 2015 and December 2017) were retrospectively enrolled from 4 tertiary university hospitals. A prediction score was built based on multivariate logistic regression analyses.RESULTS: Of 84 patients, 35 with SFTS and 49 with other endemic zoonoses were enrolled. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, independent predictors of SFTS included neurologic symptoms (odds ratio [OR], 12.915; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.173–76.747), diarrhea (OR, 10.306; 95% CI, 1.588–66.895), leukopenia (< 4,000/mm3) (OR, 19.400; 95% CI, 3.290–114.408), and normal C-reactive protein (< 0.5 mg/dL) (OR, 24.739; 95% CI, 1.812–337.742). We set up a prediction score by assigning one point to each of these four predictors. A score of ≥ 2 had 82.9% sensitivity (95% CI, 71.7%–87.5%) and 95.9% specificity (95% CI, 88.0%–99.2%). The area under the curve of the clinical prediction score was 0.950 (95% CI, 0.903–0.997).CONCLUSION: This study finding suggests a simple and useful scoring system to predict SFTS in patients with endemic zoonoses. We expect this strategic approach to facilitate early differentiation of SFTS from other endemic zoonoses, especially by primary care providers, and to improve the clinical outcomes.

17.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 381-388, 2020.
Article | WPRIM | ID: wpr-834282

ABSTRACT

Background@#Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)-induced nephrotoxicity is related to high plasma tenofovir concentrations. Tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) is a tenofovir prodrug with 90% lower plasma tenofovir concentrations. The aim of this study was to evaluate changes in tenofovir-induced nephrotoxicity in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)-positive patients who switched from TDF to TAF. @*Materials and Methods@#We identified all HIV-positive patients who switched from elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/TDF to elvitegravir/cobicistat/emtricitabine/TAF at a tertiary hospital. We assessed tubulopathy and renal dysfunction before TDF administration, at the time TAF was used following at least 3 months of TDF use, and 3 months after TAF administration. Tubulopathy was defined by the presence of at least three abnormalities in fractional excretion of phosphate, fractional excretion of uric acid, urinary β2-microglobulin, urinary N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase, glucosuria or proteinuria. Renal dysfunction was defined as decreased by more than 25% in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) relative to baseline. @*Results@#In 80 patients, the mean eGFR was 96.8 mL/min/1.73 m 2 before administration of TDF, 81.2 (P <0.001) at the time of change to TAF, 90.9 (P <0.001) after TAF administration.Renal dysfunction occurred in 19 patients (23.8%) after TDF use for a median 15 months, 11 (57.9%) of these patients recovered from renal dysfunction after TAF administration.Six patients (7.5%) had tubulopathy before TDF administration, 36 (45.0%) after TDF administration (P <0.001), 12 (15.0%) after TAF administration (P = 0.002). @*Conclusion@#Tenofovir-induced nephrotoxicity in HIV-positive patients receiving TDF was mostly reversible after changing to TAF. Thus, TAF-containing regimens can be administered safely to HIV-positive patients with tenofovir-induced nephrotoxicity.

18.
Infection and Chemotherapy ; : 31-38, 2020.
Article | WPRIM | ID: wpr-834257

ABSTRACT

Sepsis is one of the significant causes of morbidity and mortality. The burden caused by sepsis has continued to increase in recent years in the Korea, highlighting the urgent need for the implementation of strategies to improve sepsis treatment outcomes. We therefore designed a web-based sepsis registry system (“Korean Registry for Improving Sepsis Survival” [KISS]) protocol to be used in hospitals in the Korea for evaluation of the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of patients with sepsis, via an analysis of outcome predictors. The inclusion criteria of this registry are as follows: adult patients ≥18 years admitted to the participating hospitals who are diagnosed with sepsis or septic shock. Demographic and clinical information data of the patients will be collected from hospital medical records and will be recorded in a case report form, which will be entered into a web-based data management system. The analysis of the collected data will be performed as follows: (1) epidemiological and clinical characteristics of sepsis and septic shock, (2) application of sepsis bundles and antibiotic stewardship, and (3) audit and feedback. In conclusion, we aim to build the comprehensive web-based sepsis registry in the Korea through a nation-wide network of participating hospitals. Information collected and analyzed through the KISS can be used for further improvements in the clinical management of sepsis. Furthermore, the KISS will facilitate research leading to the formulation of public health policies regarding sepsis bundle and antibiotic stewardship strategies in the Korea.

19.
The Korean Journal of Internal Medicine ; : 771-781, 2020.
Article | WPRIM | ID: wpr-831784

ABSTRACT

Background/Aims@#Current evidence supports lung ultrasound as a point-ofcare alternative diagnostic tool for various respiratory diseases. We sought to determine the utility of lung ultrasound for early detection of pneumonia and for assessment of respiratory failure among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). @*Methods@#Six patients with confirmed COVID-19 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction were enrolled. All had undergone chest X-ray and chest computed tomography (CT) on the day of admission and underwent multiple point-of-care lung ultrasound scans over the course of their hospitalization. @*Results@#Lung ultrasound detected early abnormal findings of representative B-lines in a patient with a normal chest X-ray, corresponding to ground-glass opacities on the chest CT scan. The ultrasound findings improved as her clinical condition improved and her viral load decreased. In another minimally symptomatic patient without significant chest X-ray findings, the ultrasound showed B-lines, an early sign of pneumonia before abnormalities were detected on the chest CT scan. In two critically ill patients, ultrasound was performed to assess for evaluation of disease severity. In both patients, the clinicians conducted emergency rapid sequence intubation based on the ultrasound findings without awaiting the laboratory results and radiological reports. In two children, ultrasound was used to assess the improvement in their pneumonia, thus avoiding further imaging tests such as chest CT. @*Conclusions@#Lung ultrasound is feasible and useful as a rapid, sensitive, and affordable point-of-care screening tool to detect pneumonia and assess the severity of respiratory failure in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

20.
Journal of Korean Medical Science ; : e232-2020.
Article | WPRIM | ID: wpr-831646

ABSTRACT

Background@#There is a controversy whether it is safe to continue renin-angiotensin system blockers in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We analyzed big data to investigate whether angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and/or angiotensin II receptor blockers have any significant effect on the risk of COVID-19. Population-based cohort study was conducted based on the prescription data from nationwide health insurance records. @*Methods@#We investigated the 1,374,381 residents aged ≥ 40 years living in Daegu, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, between February and March 2020. Prescriptions of antihypertensive medication during the year before the outbreak were extracted from the National Health Insurance Service registry. Medications were categorized by types and stratified by the medication possession ratios (MPRs) of antihypertensive medications after controlling for the potential confounders. The risk of COVID-19 was estimated using a difference in difference analysis. @*Results@#Females, older individuals, low-income earners, and recently hospitalized patients had a higher risk of infection. Patients with higher MPRs of antihypertensive medications had a consistently lower risk of COVID-19 than those with lower MPRs of antihypertensive medications and non-users. Among patients who showed complete compliance, there was a significantly lower risk of COVID-19 for those prescribed angiotensin II receptor blockers (relative risk [RR], 0.751; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.587–0.960) or calcium channel blockers (RR, 0.768; 95% CI, 0.601–0.980). @*Conclusion@#Renin-angiotensin system blockers or other antihypertensive medications do not increase the risk of COVID-19. Patients should not stop antihypertensive medications, including renin-angiotensin system blockers, because of concerns of COVID-19.

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