Statin use may decrease death rate in hospitalized COVID-19
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The use of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins is associated with a lower death rate and a lower incidence of mechanical ventilation in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, researchers report in Cell Metabolism. The large-scale retrospective study also showed that mortality risk and other negative outcomes were not increased by combination therapy consisting of statins and blood pressure-lowering drugs called ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).

Researchers carried out a retrospective study of 13,981 COVID-19 patients admitted to 21 hospitals in Hubei Province, China. Among these patients, 1,219 used statins, primarily atorvastatin at an average dose of 20 mg/day. Among patients with hypertension, 319 used statins combined with ACE inhibitors or ARBs, and 603 used statins combined with other antihypertensive drugs.

Over a 28-day follow-up period, statin use was associated with a lower death rate and a lower incidence of mechanical ventilation. Statin use was associated with 5.5% mortality rate, compared to 6.8% without statin use, representing a 19% decrease.

When the researchers examined the matched cohort of 861 patients in the statin group and 3,444 patients in the non-statin group, statin use was associated with a 45% decrease in the mortality rate, from 9.4% to 5.2%. In the matched cases, statin use was also associated with lower levels of three inflammation biomarkers, and a lower incidence of ARDS and admission to intensive care units.

Although these data do provide supportive evidence for the safety of statins or the combination of statins with ACE inhibitors or ARBs for treatment in patients with COVID-19, further randomized controlled trials to prospectively explore the efficacy of statins on COVID-19 outcomes appear justified.

Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1550413120303168?via=ihub
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