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‘Patients should continue to take RAAS inhibitor drugs for hypertension’

Renin-angiotensin aldosterone system inhibitors – taken by some patients with hypertension – do not impact the severity of Covid-19, data from China suggests.

The study, in JAMA Cardiology, looked at 1,178 patients with Covid-19 treated in a hospital in Wuhan from 15 January to 15 March 2020. Of these, 362 had hypertension including 114 who were taking RAAS inhibitor drugs, which inhibit the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system – the hormone system that regulates blood pressure and fluid balance in the body.

The research found there was no significant difference in Covid-19 severity between patients with hypertension taking RAAS system inhibitors and those who did not.

However, as similarly reported in other studies, patients with hypertension had more severe infections than those without and were more likely to die in hospital (21.3% versus 6.5%).

The study stated: ‘These results support current guidelines and societal recommendations for treating hypertension.’

It confirms recent recommendations including from the European Society of Cardiology that patients on RAAS antagonists should continue to take them.

RAAS inhibitors include angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs).

Mounting evidence has also indicated that men and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are disproportionately affected by Covid-19.

Earlier this week, the UK’s chief medical officers added anosmia – the loss of taste and smell – to the list of symptoms that should prompt people to self-isolate due to possible Covid-19.