Beneficial Effect of Statins in COVID-19-Related Outcomes - Brief Report: A National Population-Based Cohort Study

the Korean Society of Hypertension, National Committee for Clinical Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases

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39 Scopus citations


Objective: Although statins are widely prescribed lipid-lowering drugs, there are concerns about the safety of their use in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), since statins increase the expression of ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2). This study aimed to disclose the association between statins and 60-day COVID-19 mortality. Approach and Results: All patients hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled in this study from January 19 to April 16, 2020, in Korea. We evaluated the association between the use of statins and COVID-19-related mortality in the overall and the nested 1:2 propensity score-matched study. Furthermore, a comparison of the hazard ratio for death was performed between COVID-19 patients and a retrospective cohort of patients hospitalized with pneumonia between January and June 2019 in Korea. The median age of the 10 448 COVID-19 patients was 45 years. Statins were prescribed in 533 (5.1%) patients. After adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidities, Cox regression showed a significant decrease in hazard ratio associated with the use of statins (hazard ratio, 0.637 [95% CI, 0.425-0.953]; P=0.0283). Moreover, on comparing the hazard ratio between COVID-19 patients and the retrospective cohort of hospitalized pneumonia patients, the use of statins showed similar benefits. Conclusions: The use of statins correlates significantly with lower mortality in patients with COVID-19, consistent with the findings in patients with pneumonia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E175-E182
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • cohort studies
  • hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors
  • mortality
  • propensity score


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