The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already surpassed the combined mortality inflicted by the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic of 2002 and 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) epidemic of 2013. The pandemic is spreading at an exponential rate, with millions of people across the globe at risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2. Initial reports suggest that hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases were the most frequent comorbidities in affected patients, and case fatality rates tended to be high in these individuals. In the largest Chinese study to date,1 which included 44 672 confirmed cases, preexisting comorbidities that had high mortality rates included cardiovascular disease (10.5%), diabetes (7.3%), and hypertension (6.0%). Patients with such comorbidities are commonly treated with renin angiotensin system blockers, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). However, the use of ACEIs/ARBs in patients with COVID-19 or at risk of COVID-19 infection is currently a subject of intense debate. Below, we outline the mechanisms by which ACEIs/ARBs may be of benefit in those with COVID-19, what the current recommendations are for their use in infected patients, and suggested areas for further research.
Author：Chirag Bavishi, Thomas M. Maddox, Franz H. Messerli, et al.