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Prior Statin Use Linked to Reduced Risk for Death in COVID-19

Last Updated: July 21, 2021.

WEDNESDAY, July 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For patients hospitalized with COVID-19, prior use of statins, with or without antihypertensives, is associated with a reduced risk for death, according to a study published online July 15 in PLOS ONE.

Lori B. Daniels, M.D., from the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, and colleagues used data from 10,541 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at 104 U.S. hospitals to examine the associations between statin use and outcomes. Overall, 42 percent of the patients used statins (7 percent statins alone; 35 percent statins plus antihypertensives).

Death or discharge to hospice occurred in 21 percent of participants. The researchers found that after adjustment for demographics, insurance status, hospital site, and concurrent medication use, outpatient statin use, either alone or with antihypertensives, was associated with a reduced risk for death (adjusted odds ratio, 0.59; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.50 to 0.69). Among those with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and/or hypertension, use of statins and/or antihypertensives was associated with a reduced risk for death in propensity-matched analyses (adjusted odds ratio, 0.68; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.58 to 0.81). Among those without CVD and/or hypertension, the observed 16 percent reduction in the odds of death was not statistically significant (adjusted odds ratio, 0.84; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.58 to 1.22).

"Early during the pandemic, there were questions as to whether certain cardiovascular medications might worsen COVID-19 infections," Daniels said in a statement. "We found that not only are statins and antihypertensive medications safe -- they may very well be protective in patients hospitalized for COVID, especially among those with a history of hypertension or cardiovascular disease."

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