(HealthDay News) — For patients with hypertension hospitalized with COVID-19 infections, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs)/angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are not associated with the severity or mortality of COVID-19, according to a brief report published online in JAMA Cardiology.

Juyi Li, MD, from The Central Hospital of Wuhan and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, and colleagues conducted a retrospective single-center case series of 1178 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 infections from Jan. 15 to March 15, 2020, to examine the association between ACEIs/ARBs and severity of illness and mortality in patients with hypertension.

The researchers found that the overall in-hospital mortality was 11.0% in the cohort. There were 362 patients with hypertension (30.7% of the total cohort), of whom 31.8% were taking ACEIs/ARBs. In patients with hypertension, the in-hospital mortality was 21.3%. There was no difference noted in the percentage of patients with hypertension taking ACEIs/ARBs between those with severe and nonsevere infections (32.9 vs 30.7%) or between nonsurvivors and survivors (27.3 vs 33.0%). When data were analyzed for patients taking ACEIs and those taking ARBs, the findings were similar.

“These data support current guidelines and societal recommendations for treating hypertension during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the authors write.

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Li J, Wang X, Chen J, et al. Association of Renin-Angiotensin System Inhibitors With Severity or Risk of Death in Patients With Hypertension Hospitalized for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Infection in Wuhan, China [published online April 23, 2020]. JAMA Cardiol. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2020.1624