CMAAO Coronavirus Facts And Myth Buster: Statins before admission

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With input from Dr Monica Vasudev

1093: Statin use prior to hospital admission

Statin use during the 30 days before hospital admission for COVID-19 was found to be associated with a decreased risk of developing severe disease, and a faster time to recovery among patients without severe COVID-19, in a study published in The American Journal of Cardiology.
The impact of statins, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) on COVID-19 severity and recovery is important, considering their high prevalence of use among individuals at risk for severe COVID-19.
Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of electronic medical records of 170 patients with COVID-19 and 5,281 COVID-negative controls hospitalized at University of California San Diego Health from February 10, 2020 to June 17, 2020. The primary exposures of interest included use of statins, ACE inhibitors, and ARBs within the 30 days before admission.
Among COVID-19 patients, 58% were male, with average age 59 ± 19 years. Obesity was reported in 56% of patients, 44% had a history of hypertension, 21% had cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 20% had diabetes.
Nearly 27% of patients with COVID-19 were actively taking statins on admission, while 21% were on ACE inhibitors and 12% were taking ARBs. Severe disease was reported in 53% COVID-19 patients, while 46% recovered and 1% had unresolved status at the time of analysis. Of the 90 patients with a severe outcome, there were 22 deaths. Among COVID-negative patients, 24% had a severe outcome.
The use of statins prior to admission was found to be linked with a reduced risk of severe COVID-19.
The use of ACE inhibitors or ARBs was not significantly associated with risk of severe disease.
Among COVID-negative inpatients, statins were associated with a 21% decline in the adjusted odds of developing severe disease. Evidence indicated that this association was weaker than in COVID-positive inpatients.
Statin use prior to admission was linked with a faster time to recovery among those without severe disease.
Neither ARB use nor ACE inhibitor use was associated with increased rate of recovery.
Use of statins prior to admission was associated with an over 50% reduction in the risk of developing severe COVID-19 and with considerably faster time to recovery.

[DG Alerts Excerpts]