Prior Statin Use Linked to Reduced ICU Utilization in Patients Hospitalized With COVID-19

Ventilator monitor ,given oxygen by intubation tube to patient, setting in ICU/Emergency room
Statins may play an important role in combating inflammation in COVID-19.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American College of Cardiology’s 70th Annual Scientific Session & Expo is being held virtually from May 15 to 17, 2021. The team at Cardiology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by clinicians and scientists in the field. Check back for more from the ACC 2021 .

Patients who used statins prior to hospitalization for symptomatic COVID-19 had a decreased need for intensive care unit (ICU) utilization and mechanical ventilation. These findings were presented during the American College of Cardiology Annual Meeting, held virtually from May 15 to 17, 2021.

Investigators of this ongoing prospective observational study reviewed the charts of 601 consecutively admitted patients hospitalized for symptomatic COVID-19 to assess the potential effects of statin use on outcomes. Rates of ICU admissions, mechanical ventilation, and inpatient mortality were compared between patients who were taking statins prior to hospitalization vs those who were not. Results were adjusted for baseline characteristics, comorbidities, and inflammatory biomarkers.

Of the 601 patients, 237 (39%) were taking statins prior to hospitalization. These patients were significantly older (65.8 y vs 54.2 y; P <.001) and predominantly men (62% vs 54%; P =.032). Patients taking statins were more likely to have pre-existing diabetes (62% vs 27%; P <.001), hypertension (82% vs 51%; P <.001), coronary artery disease (27% vs 6%; P <.001), and congestive heart failure (23% vs 6%; P <.001).

In unadjusted analyses, statin use was associated with greater mortality (22% vs 13%; P =.002) but not with ICU admissions (49% vs 53%; P =.347) or mechanical ventilation (36% vs 41%; P =.283).

In adjusted analyses, statin use was associated with a decreased odds of ICU admissions (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.56; 95% CI, 0.34-0.92; P =.023) and mechanical ventilation (aOR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.42-0.96; P =.034), but not mortality (aOR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.45-1.65; P =.652).

The investigators concluded that patients who used statins prior to hospitalization for COVID-19 disease were less likely to require ICU care and mechanical ventilation.

The study researchers suggested an anti-inflammatory role for statins and that future studies should investigate whether in-hospital use of statins can improve outcomes associated with COVID-19.

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Shadid H, Pan M, Anderson E, et al. Statin use may be associated with decreased severity of COVID-19. Presented at: American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2021 Annual Meeting; May 15-17, 2021.