A history of acute myocardial Infarction, cardiac failure or hyperlipidemia has been associated with increased mortality of COVID-19.
Observational studies have suggested statins might reduce death risk from COVID-19, in addition to lowering cholesterol.
Statins have anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic effects that could play a role in the course of the infection.
Other studies have arrived to completely opposite conclusions. Statins could worsen or at least increase the chance of infection according to Italian authors, published in JAMA. Statins, together with other drugs also used in atherosclerosis patients, might increase the number of angiotensin conversion receptors. These receptors are the SARS-CoV-2 gateway into cells.
Statin users and non-users were matched with propensity score to carry out studies. Apart from this, they are similar in every respect. These study outcomes were not able to link statins with a short-term benefit, unlike the observational studies.
An article published by Gupta et al looked at 1296 patients hospitalized in New York for COVID-19, observed 26.5% mortality among non-users vs 14.8% statin users. It arrived to similar conclusions in a population of 1179 patients from Massachusetts General Hospital.
A meta-analysis of 9 studies carried out in the US and China reached similar results that one from Denmark based on their national database.
Given the lack of randomized evidence, we cannot indicate statins to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19, but neither should we discontinue its use when it has been prescribed against cardiovascular factors.
Original Title: Could Statins Do More Than Lower Cholesterol in Patients With COVID-19?
Reference: Rita Rubin. JAMA. 2021 Jun 22;325(24):2424-2425. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.8201.