SCIENTISTS have said that drugs most commonly used to treat high blood pressure does not increase the risks of COVID-19 for patients.
The research co led Dr Daniel Morales of the University of Dundee helped disprove that some anti- high blood pressure medication increased the risks for COVID-19 patients dealing with hypertension.
Patients with high blood pressure tend have worse COVID-19 outcomes which led to the speculation that some anti-hypertensive medications may pose increased risks to patients dealing with hypertension.
Dr Morales and his collaborators within the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (OHDSI) community sought to examine COVID-19 outcomes in users of either ACE inhibitors drugs that widen or dilate the blood vessels or on ARBs drugs that blocking the receptors the hormones act on.
It was among an international cohort of more than 1.1 million patients using antihypertensives.
They found there was no increased risk of COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalisation, or subsequent complications for users of either category of drug.
The evidence supports regulatory and clinical recommendations that patients should not discontinue ACE inhibitor or ARB therapy due to concerns of increased COVID-19 risk.
Dr Morales, Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow at the University’s School of Medicine, said: “Although people with high blood pressure may have worse outcomes from COVID-19, this study reassures patients that ACE inhibitors and ARBs do not increase this risk compared to other treatment.
“By comparing people exposed to ACE inhibitors and ARBs against people taking other blood pressure medicines, either alone or in combination, we were able to produce highly consistent results that demonstrate the safety of these drugs.”
OHDSI is a multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary collaborative to bring out the value of health data through large-scale analytics. All solutions are open-source.
OHDSI has established an international network of researchers and observational health databases with a central coordinating centre housed at Columbia University.
Dr Morales’ co-led the research with Professor Marc Suchard from University of California, Los Angeles and, published the findings today in The Lancet Digital Health.