Comorbidities in COVID-19: Outcomes in hypertensive cohort and controversies with renin angiotensin system blockers
Singh, Awadhesh Kumar
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Abstract Background and aims COVID-19 is already a pandemic. Emerging data suggest an increased association and a heightened mortality in patients of COVID-19 with comorbidities. We aimed to evaluate the outcome in hypertensive patients with COVID-19 and its relation to the use of renin-angiotensin system blockers (RASB). Methods We have systematically searched the medical database up to March 27, 2020 and retrieved all the published articles in English language related to our topic using MeSH key words. Results From the pooled data of all ten available Chinese studies (n = 2209) that have reported the characteristics of comorbidities in patients with COVID-19, hypertension was present in nearly 21%, followed by diabetes in nearly 11%, and established cardiovascular disease (CVD) in approximately 7% of patients. Although the emerging data hints to an increase in mortality in COVID-19 patients with known hypertension, diabetes and CVD, it should be noted that it was not adjusted for multiple confounding factors. Harm or benefit in COVID-19 patients receiving RASB has not been typically assessed in these studies yet, although mechanistically and plausibly both, benefit and harm is possible with these agents, given that COVID-19 expresses to tissues through the receptor of angiotensin converting enzyme-2. Conclusion Special attention is definitely required in patients with COVID-19 with associated comorbidities including hypertension, diabetes and established CVD. Although the role of RASB has a mechanistic equipoise, patients with COVID-19 should not stop these drugs at this point of time, as recommended by various world organizations and without the advice of health care provider.
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