Antihypertensives and their relation to mortality by SARS-CoV-2 infection

Sandeep Singh, Christine Widrich, Martijn Nap, Emile Schokker, Aeilko H. Zwinderman, Sara-Joan Pinto-Sietsma

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The role of antihypertensives, especially Renin–Angiotensin–Aldosterone System inhibitors, is still debatable in COVID-19-related severity and outcome. Therefore, we search for a more global analysis of antihypertensive medication in relation to SAS-CoV-2 severity using prescription data worldwide. The association between the percentage use of different types of antihypertensive medications and mortality rates due to a SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first 3 weeks of the pandemic was analyzed using random effects linear regression models for 30 countries worldwide. Higher percentages of prescribed angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) (β, 95% confidence interval [CI]; −0.02 [−0.04 to −0.0012]; p =.042) and calcium channel blockers (CCBs) (β, 95% CI; −0.023 [−0.05 to −0.0028]; p =.0304) were associated with a lower first 3-week SARS-CoV-2-related death rate, whereas a higher percentage of prescribed angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) (β, 95% CI; 0.03 [0.0061–0.05]; p =.0103) was associated with a higher first 3-week death rate, even when adjusted for age and metformin use. There was no association between the amount of prescribed beta-blockers (BBs) and diuretics (Diu) and the first 3-week death rate. When analyzing the combination of drugs that is used by at least 50% of antihypertensive users, within the different countries, countries with the lowest first 3-week death rates had at least an angiotensin receptor blocker as one of the most often prescribed antihypertensive medications (ARBs/CCBs: [β, 95% CI; −0.02 [−0.03 to −0.004]; p =.009], ARBs/BBs: [β, 95% CI; −0.03 [−0.05 to −0.006]; p =.01]). Finally, countries prescribing high-potency ARBs had lower first 3-week ARBs. In conclusion, ARBs and CCB seem to have a protective effect against death from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2467-2475
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number4
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • CVOID-19
  • RAAS blockers
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • angiotensin receptor blockers
  • angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor

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