Common blood pressure medication improves Covid-19 survival rates, study finds

Aug 26, 2020
People who take common blood pressure medication may have better Covid-19 survival rates. Source: Getty.

At the start of the pandemic, there were concerns surrounding high blood pressure medications, but a new study has found people who take this common blood pressure medication may have better Covid-19 survival rates after all.

According to the study published in the journal Current Atherosclerosis Reports on August 24, Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure who were taking the medications were 0.67 less likely to have a critical or fatal outcome than those not taking these medications.

Lead researcher Dr Vassilios Vassiliou from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England said: “We know that patients with cardiovascular diseases are at particular risk of severe Covid-19 infection. But at the start of the pandemic, there was concern that specific medications for high blood pressure could be linked with worse outcomes for Covid-19 patients.

“We wanted to find out what the impact of these medications is for people with Covid-19. We therefore studied the outcomes for patients taking antihypertensives — looking particularly at what we call ‘critical’ outcomes such as being admitted to intensive care or being put on a ventilator, and death.

For the study, researchers studied 28,000 patients taking antihypertensives, a class of drugs that are used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure). They found that the risk of severe Covid-19 illness and death was reduced for patients with high blood pressure who were taking Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) or Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARB).

“We found that a third of Covid-19 patients with high blood pressure and a quarter of patients overall were taking an ACEi/ARBs,” Dr Vassiliou added. “This is likely due to the increasing risk of infection in patients with co-morbidities such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes

“But the really important thing that we showed was that there is no evidence that these medications might increase the severity of Covid-19 or risk of death.

“On the contrary, we found that there was a significantly lower risk of death and critical outcomes, so they might in fact have a protective role – particularly in patients with hypertension.”

The research comes after a study claimed blood pressure-lowering medications may be linked with an increased risk of developing a severe case of coronavirus. The study in question, which was published in The Lancet, the prestigious UK medical journal, on March 11 looked at three separate pieces of research focused on coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) patients.

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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