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BMJ Open ; 12(7): e060305, 2022 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923253


OBJECTIVES: Evaluate the associations between patients taking ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and their clinical outcomes after an acute viral respiratory illness (AVRI) due to COVID-19. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort. SETTING: The USA; 2017-2018 influenza season, 2018-2019 influenza season, and 2019-2020 influenza/COVID-19 season. PARTICIPANTS: People with hypertension (HTN) taking an ACEi, ARB or other HTN medications, and experiencing AVRI. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Change in hospital admission, intensive care unit (ICU) or coronary care unit (CCU), acute respiratory distress (ARD), ARD syndrome (ARDS) and all-cause mortality, comparing COVID-19 to pre-COVID-19 influenza seasons. RESULTS: The cohort included 1 059 474 episodes of AVRI (653 797 filled an ACEi or ARB, and 405 677 other HTN medications). 58.6% were women and 72.9% with age ≥65. The ACEi/ARB cohort saw a larger increase in risk in the COVID-19 influenza season than the other HTN medication cohort for four out of five outcomes, with an additional 1.5 percentage point (pp) increase in risk of an inpatient stay (95% CI 1.2 to 1.9 pp) and of ICU/CCU use (95% CI 0.3 to 2.7 pp) as well as a 0.7 pp (0.1 to 1.2 pp) additional increase in risk of ARD and 0.9 pp (0.4 to 1.3 pp) additional increase in risk of ARDS. There was no statistically significant difference in the absolute risk of death (-0.2 pp, 95% CI -0.4 to 0.1 pp). However, the relative risk of death in 2019/2020 versus 2017/2018 for the ACEi/ARB group was larger (1.40 (1.36 to 1.44)) than for the other HTN medication cohort (1.24 (1.21 to 1.28)). CONCLUSIONS: People with AVRI using ACEi/ARBs for HTN had a greater increase in poor outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic than those using other medications to treat HTN. The small absolute magnitude of the differences likely does not support changes in clinical practice.

COVID-19 , Hypertension , Influenza, Human , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Male , Outpatients , Pandemics , Renin-Angiotensin System , Retrospective Studies
EClinicalMedicine ; 37: 100957, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272392


BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 virus enters cells via Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), disrupting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone axis, potentially contributing to lung injury. Treatment with angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), such as losartan, may mitigate these effects, though induction of ACE2 could increase viral entry, replication, and worsen disease. METHODS: This study represents a placebo-controlled blinded randomized clinical trial (RCT) to test the efficacy of losartan on outpatients with COVID-19 across three hospital systems with numerous community sites in Minnesota, U.S. Participants included symptomatic outpatients with COVID-19 not already taking ACE-inhibitors or ARBs, enrolled within 7 days of symptom onset. Patients were randomized to 1:1 losartan (25 mg orally twice daily unless estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR, was reduced, when dosing was reduced to once daily) versus placebo for 10 days, and all patients and outcome assesors were blinded. The primary outcome was all-cause hospitalization within 15 days. Secondary outcomes included functional status, dyspnea, temperature, and viral load. (, NCT04311177, closed to new participants). FINDINGS: From April to November 2020, 117 participants were randomized 58 to losartan and 59 to placebo, and all were analyzed under intent to treat principles. The primary outcome did not differ significantly between the two arms based on Barnard's test [losartan arm: 3 events (5.2% 95% CI 1.1, 14.4%) versus placebo arm: 1 event (1.7%; 95% CI 0.0, 9.1%)]; proportion difference -3.5% (95% CI -13.2, 4.8%); p = 0.32]. Viral loads were not statistically different between treatment groups at any time point. Adverse events per 10 patient days did not differ signifcantly [0.33 (95% CI 0.22-0.49) for losartan vs. 0.37 (95% CI 0.25-0.55) for placebo]. Due to a lower than expected hospitalization rate and low likelihood of a clinically important treatment effect, the trial was terminated early. INTERPRETATION: In this multicenter blinded RCT for outpatients with mild symptomatic COVID-19 disease, losartan did not reduce hospitalizations, though assessment was limited by low event rate. Importantly, viral load was not statistically affected by treatment. This study does not support initiation of losartan for low-risk outpatients.

BMJ Open ; 11(3): e044010, 2021 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140334


OBJECTIVES: Evaluate associations between ACE inhibitors (ACEis) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and clinical outcomes in acute viral respiratory illness (AVRI). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort analysis of claims data. SETTING: The USA; 2018-2019 influenza season. PARTICIPANTS: Main cohort: people with hypertension (HTN) taking an ACEi, ARB or other HTN medications, and experiencing AVRI. Falsification cohort: parallel cohort receiving elective knee or hip replacement. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Main cohort: hospital admission, intensive care unit, acute respiratory distress (ARD), ARD syndrome and all-cause mortality. Falsification cohort: complications after surgery and all-cause mortality. RESULTS: The main cohort included 236 843 episodes of AVRI contributed by 202 629 unique individuals. Most episodes were in women (58.9%), 81.4% in people with Medicare Advantage and 40.3% in people aged 75+ years. Odds of mortality were lower in the ACEi (0.78 (0.74 to 0.83)) and ARB (0.64 (0.61 to 0.68)) cohorts compared with other HTN medications. On all other outcomes, people taking ARBs (but not ACEis) had a >10% reduction in odds of inpatient stays compared with other HTN medications.In the falsification analysis (N=103 353), both ACEis (0.89 (0.80 to 0.98)) and ARBs (0.82 (0.74 to 0.91)) were associated with decreased odds of complications compared with other HTN medications; ARBs (0.64 (0.47 to 0.87)) but not ACEis (0.79 (0.60 to 1.05)) were associated with lower odds of death compared with other HTN medications. CONCLUSIONS: Outpatient use of ARBs was associated with better outcomes with AVRI compared with other medications for HTN. ACEis were associated with reduced risk of death, but with minimal or no reduction in risk of other complications. A falsification analysis conducted to provide context on the possible causal implications of these findings did not provide a clear answer. Further analysis using observational data will benefit from additional approaches to assess causal relationships between these drugs and outcomes in AVRI.

Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists , Hypertension , Aged , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/adverse effects , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Hypertension/drug therapy , Hypertension/epidemiology , Medicare , Outpatients , Retrospective Studies , United States/epidemiology