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


Alves M., Fernandes M. A. , Bahat G. , Benetos A., Clemente H., Grodzicki T., ...More

EUROPEAN GERIATRIC MEDICINE, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41999-021-00504-5
  • Journal Name: EUROPEAN GERIATRIC MEDICINE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE

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.