At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak there were concerns that the Covid-19 virus might have a greater impact in people taking certain medications – angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) (e.g lisinopril, ramipril, enalopril, captopril) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) (e.g. candesartan, olmesartan, valsartan, losartan). These medications are commonly taken to reduce blood pressure and to treat heart failure.
A clinical trial was carried out by researchers in Duke University, North Carolina, US. In total, 659 people taking ACEI/ARB who were admitted to hospital in Brazil with Covid-19 were included in the study. The ACEI/ARB was discontinued for 30 days in half of the patients, and continued in the other half. At the end of the 30 day study, the proportion of patients alive in both groups was similar.
The results of this study (the BRACE CORONA trial) were presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference on 01 Sept 2020 (please see link to the full article below). The Heartbeat Trust cares for over 1000 people with high blood pressure in the STOPHF Service of St Michaels Hospital, Dublin. Just over half of these are taking ACEI or ARB medication. This research provides reassurance that those who need these drugs for their heart should continue using them.