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Continuing Blood Pressure Meds Safe for Those With COVID-19

No difference in outcomes seen among hospitalized COVID-19 patients continuing, discontinuing renin-angiotensin system inhibitors

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WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitalized COVID-19 patients can safely continue using blood pressure medications, according to a study published online Jan. 7 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Jordana B. Cohen, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomly assigned 152 adult hospitalized COVID-19 patients at 20 large referral hospitals in seven countries to either continuation (75 patients) or discontinuation (77 patients) of renin-angiotensin system inhibitor treatment initiated before admission.

The researchers found that compared with discontinuation of renin-angiotensin system inhibitors, continuation had no effect on the global rank score with a median rank of 73 for the continuation group and 81 for the discontinuation group (β-coefficient 8; 95 percent confidence interval, −13 to 29). Intensive care unit admission or invasive mechanical ventilation occurred in 16 of 75 participants in the continuation arm versus 14 of 77 in the discontinuation arm. Additionally, 11 participants in the continuation group versus 10 in the discontinuation group died and 39 percent of participants in the continuation group and 36 percent in the discontinuation group had at least one adverse event (P = 0.77). The groups did not differ with respect to blood pressure, serum potassium, or creatinine during follow-up.

"Consistent with international society recommendations, renin-angiotensin system inhibitors can be safely continued in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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