Blood pressure drugs called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors could lower the risk of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.
A study reveals that people who are infected with the COVID-19 virus but who are taking ACE inhibitors for blood pressure have a lower risk of hospitalization.
The research team analyzed data from 10,000 hypertensive patients who tested positive for the coronavirus.
These patients were taking one of the commonly used drugs for treating high blood pressure such as angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, or other antihypertensive agents.
They found that the risk of hospitalization reduced by 40 percent in older patients who were on ACE inhibitors.
The other antihypertensive agents including ARBs didn’t have any reducing effect on COVID-19 hospitalization rates for either older or younger patients.
Furthermore, neither ACE inhibitors nor other antihypertensive drugs could reduce the risk of dying in COVID-19 patients who were admitted to hospital.
Professor Harlan Krumholz, the study’s co-author, said:
“While not yet actionable, these findings provide an impetus to test whether this common, inexpensive class of drugs can mitigate the impact of the virus.”
Professor Krumholz added that a large clinical trial is starting soon and it plans to test the possible benefits of using ACE inhibitors to help fight coronavirus.
The study was published in medRxiv (Khera et al., 2020).