(HealthDay News) — For patients hospitalized with COVID-19, prior use of statins, with or without antihypertensives, is associated with a reduced risk for death, according to a study published online in PLOS ONE.

Lori B. Daniels, MD, from the University of California San Diego in La Jolla, and colleagues used data from 10,541 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at 104 US hospitals to examine the associations between statin use and outcomes. Overall, 42% of the patients used statins (7% statins alone; 35% statins plus antihypertensives).

Death or discharge to hospice occurred in 21% of participants. The researchers found that after adjustment for demographics, insurance status, hospital site, and concurrent medication use, outpatient statin use, either alone or with antihypertensives, was associated with a reduced risk for death (adjusted odds ratio, 0.59; 95% confidence interval, 0.50 to 0.69). Among those with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and/or hypertension, use of statins and/or antihypertensives was associated with a reduced risk for death in propensity-matched analyses (adjusted odds ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.58 to 0.81). Among those without CVD and/or hypertension, the observed 16% reduction in the odds of death was not statistically significant (adjusted odds ratio, 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.58 to 1.22).

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“Early during the pandemic, there were questions as to whether certain cardiovascular medications might worsen COVID-19 infections,” Daniels said in a statement. “We found that not only are statins and antihypertensive medications safe — they may very well be protective in patients hospitalized for COVID, especially among those with a history of hypertension or cardiovascular disease.”

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