Protecting older patients with cardiovascular diseases from COVID-19 complications using current medications

EuGMS Special Interest Group in Cardiovascular Medicine (Chairpersons A. Ungar and A. Benetos)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: In the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 complications, derangements of renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system (RAAS), vascular endothelial dysfunction leading to inflammation and coagulopathy, and arrhythmias play an important role. Therefore, it is worth considering the use of currently available drugs to protect COVID-19 patients with cardiovascular diseases. Methods: We review the current experience of conventional cardiovascular drugs [angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers, anticoagulants, acetosalicylic acid, antiarrhythmic drugs, statins] as well as some other drug classes (antidiabetic drugs, vitamin D and NSAIDs) frequently used by older patients with cardiovascular diseases. Data were sought from clinical databases for COVID-19 and appropriate key words. Conclusions and recommendations are based on a consensus among all authors. Results: Several cardiovascular drugs have a potential to protect patients with COVID-19, although evidence is largely based on retrospective, observational studies. Despite propensity score adjustments used in many analyses observational studies are not equivalent to randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Ongoing RCTs include treatment with antithrombotics, pulmonary vasodilators, RAAS-related drugs, and colchicine. RCTs in the acute phase of COVID-19 may not, however, recognise the benefits of long term anti-atherogenic therapies, such as statins. Conclusions: Most current cardiovascular drugs can be safely continued during COVID-19. Some drug classes may even be protective. Age-specific data are scarce, though, and conditions which are common in older patients (frailty, comorbidities, polypharmacy) must be individually considered for each drug group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-739
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Geriatric Medicine
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding:
Open access funding provided by University of Helsinki including Helsinki University Central Hospital.Strandberg reports various cooperation (research, educational, consultative) with several companies (including Amgen, Novartis, Orion, Sankyo, Sanofi) marketing cardiovascular drugs.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

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