The use of certain drugs for the treatment of hypertension such as ACE (Angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors or AT1 receptor antagonists (sartans) could theoretically strengthen the Coronavirus infection or worsen the COVID-19 disease. Because these treatments are frequently prescribed to people, it is crucial to know if these drugs are more often found in patients developing severe forms of COVID-19 in order to modify their treatment before if necessary.
We compared the prevalence of ACE inhibitor/sartan use in four groups of patients with increasingly severe symptoms: (1) people calling the COVID 15 centre of SAMU59 (French emergency medical service), (2) patients sent to the outpatients infectious diseases consultation (CAMI) of the Lille CHU, (3) patients admitted for COVID-19 infection and (4) patients admitted for COVID-19 infection in intensive care units at the Lille CHU. The secondary objective is to study the relation between the intake of ACE inhibitors and the severity of symptoms in patients consulting doctors at the COVID 15 centre. These prevalence patterns were compared with the ones observed among the general population of the Nord department, and in a sample of the French population. No significant difference was found in these various groups.
Conclusions Within a very short period of time which was well suited to the urgency of the COVID-19-related health crisis, this study has provided strong support for the recommendation to continue IEC/Sartan treatments for the population and COVID-19 positive patients.