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Blood pressure drugs can manage Covid-19, study shows

Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa

A group of drugs used to treat blood pressure have been found to have efficacy on Covid-19 patients in a latest study.

The drugs, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) are claimed to have the ability of reducing death and the possibility of patients deteriorating to critical state.

The two drugs, though they work differently, do reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. While the first category works by relaxing your blood vessels, the latter blocks a chemical that causes them to narrow.

According to the study published August 24 by the Current Atherosclerosis Report, though the drugs showed some efficacy, it was not statistically significant.

“This effect however was magnified and was significant among the hypertensive cohorts,” reads the study titled Effect of Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System Inhibitors in Patients with Covid-19: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of 28,872 Patients.

Hypertension is the leading cause of death as an underlying condition among patients diagnosed with Covid-19.

So far 574 people have died from the virus in the country, with 263 new cases being reported yesterday. To date the country has reported 34,057 cases. In this latest study, these two sets of drugs had similar outcomes in another analysis with 3,936 hypertensive patients.

The basis of this investigation was based on the possibility that since the SARS-CoV-2 virus targets similar receptors like these drugs (ACE2 receptor) there could be possibility that patients already on this medication are more at risk of Covid-19 and hence increase severity of the disease.

These two sets of drugs fall under the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors which are also used to treat chronic kidney failure, heart failure, and myocardial infarction.

These conditions, as well, are some of the symptoms in critical Covid-19 patients. “As such, we would strongly recommend patients to continue with RAAS inhibitor pharmacotherapy during the Covid-19 pandemic,” reads the study.

The study drew its findings from analysis of 28,872 patient files led by experts from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in UK and Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park.


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