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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-319046

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has profoundly affected the lives of millions of people. To date, there is no approved vaccine or specific drug to prevent or treat COVID-19, while the infection is spreading at an alarming rate globally. Because the development of effective vaccines or novel drugs could take several months (if not years), repurposing existing drugs is considered a more efficient strategy that could save lives now. Statins constitute a class of lipid-lowering drugs with proven safety profiles and many known beneficial pleiotropic effects. Our previous investigations showed that statins have antiviral effects and are involved in the process of wound healing in the lung. This triggered us to evaluate if statin use reduces mortality in COVID-19 patients. Results: After initial recruitment of 459 patients with COVID-19 (Shiraz province, Iran) and careful consideration of the exclusion criteria, a total of 150 patients, of which 75 received statins, were included in our retrospective study. Cox proportional-hazards regression models were used to estimate the association between statin use and rate of death. After propensity score matching, we found that statin use appeared to be associated with a lower risk of morbidity [HR=0.85, 95% CI=(0.02, 3.93), P =0.762] and lower risk of death [(HR= 0.76;95% CI=(0.16, 3.72), P =0.735)];however, these associations did not reach statistical significance. Furthermore, statin use reduced the chance of being subjected to mechanical ventilation [OR=0.96, 95% CI=(0.61–2.99), P =0.942] and patients on statins had a more normal computed tomography (CT) scan result [OR=0.41, 95% CI= (0.07–2.33), P =0.312]. Conclusions: Although we could not demonstrate a significant association between statin use and a reduction in mortality in patients with COVID19 , we do feel that our results are promising and of clinical relevance and warrant the need for prospective randomized controlled trials and extensive retrospective studies to validate the potential beneficial effects of statin treatment on clinical symptoms and mortality rates associated with COVID-19.

2.
World J Clin Cases ; 9(18): 4654-4667, 2021 Jun 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289255

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) started in Asia, and Iran was one of its first epicenters. AIM: To study the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and comorbidities associated with this pandemic in four different regions of Iran. METHODS: We analyzed data from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 positive patients evaluated at four hospitals of Iran (n = 91), including South (Shiraz), Southeast (Dezful), Rasht (North), and Northwest (Mashhad) between April and September 2020. Demographics, comorbidities and clinical findings including GI symptoms were collected. Statistical descriptive analysis and correlation analyses of symptoms, comorbidities, and mortality were performed. RESULTS: The average age of COVID-19 patients was 51.1 years, and 56% were male. Mortality rate was 17%. Cough with 84.6%, shortness of breath with 71.4%, fever with 52.7%, and loss of appetite with 43.9% were the main symptoms. Overall cardiac disease was the most common comorbidity with an average of 28.5% followed by hypertension (28.5%) and diabetes (25.2%). The highest comorbidity in North (Rasht) was diabetes (30%) and in South (Dezful) hypertension (37%). Shiraz leads cardiac disease with 43.4%. The most reported GI symptoms included nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, with 42.8%, 31.8%, 26.8%, and 12% prevalence, respectively. In addition, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase were elevated in 26.3%. CONCLUSION: Our results show hypertension and diabetes as the most common comorbidities, but their distribution was different in COVID-19 patients in the four studied regions of Iran. Nausea, diarrhea, and elevated liver enzymes were the most common GI symptoms. There was also a high mortality rate that was associated with high infection rates in Iran at the beginning of the pandemic.

3.
Transl Med Commun ; 6(1): 3, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045590

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has profoundly affected the lives of millions of people. To date, there is no approved vaccine or specific drug to prevent or treat COVID-19, while the infection is globally spreading at an alarming rate. Because the development of effective vaccines or novel drugs could take several months (if not years), repurposing existing drugs is considered a more efficient strategy that could save lives now. Statins constitute a class of lipid-lowering drugs with proven safety profiles and various known beneficial pleiotropic effects. Our previous investigations showed that statins have antiviral effects and are involved in the process of wound healing in the lung. This triggered us to evaluate if statin use reduces mortality in COVID-19 patients. RESULTS: After initial recruitment of 459 patients with COVID-19 (Shiraz province, Iran) and careful consideration of the exclusion criteria, a total of 150 patients, of which 75 received statins, were included in our retrospective study. Cox proportional-hazards regression models were used to estimate the association between statin use and rate of death. After propensity score matching, we found that statin use appeared to be associated with a lower risk of morbidity [HR = 0.85, 95% CI = (0.02, 3.93), P = 0.762] and lower risk of death [(HR = 0.76; 95% CI = (0.16, 3.72), P = 0.735)]; however, these associations did not reach statistical significance. Furthermore, statin use reduced the chance of being subjected to mechanical ventilation [OR = 0.96, 95% CI = (0.61-2.99), P = 0.942] and patients on statins showed a more normal computed tomography (CT) scan result [OR = 0.41, 95% CI = (0.07-2.33), P = 0.312]. CONCLUSIONS: Although we could not demonstrate a significant association between statin use and a reduction in mortality in patients with COVID19, we do feel that our results are promising and of clinical relevance and warrant the need for prospective randomized controlled trials and extensive retrospective studies to further evaluate and validate the potential beneficial effects of statin treatment on clinical symptoms and mortality rates associated with COVID-19.

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