We have sparse knowledge of the effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) on the risk of COVID-19 infection and the progression of this disease. We systematically assessed these relationships. Unrestricted searches of the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were conducted, with an end date of May 9, 2020, to identify relevant studies that met predetermined inclusion criteria. Random-effects models were adopted to estimate the overall relative risk. Fourteen articles involving more than 19000 COVID-19 cases were included. Our results showed that ACEI/ARB exposure is not associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 infection (OR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.95-1.04; P = 0.672). Among those with COVID-19 infection, ACEI/ARB exposure is not associated with a higher risk of severity (OR = 0.98; 95%CI 0.87-1.09; P = 0.69) or mortality (OR = 0.73, 95%CI 0.5-1.07; P = 0.111). However, ACEI/ARB exposure was associated with a lower risk of mortality compared those with non-ACEI/ARB antihypertensive drugs (OR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.29-0.81; P = 0.006). In conclusion, current evidence did not confirm previous concern regarding a harmful role of ACEI/ARB in COVID-19 patients. The present study support current professional society guidelines to not discontinue ACEIs or ARBs in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic or COVID-19 patients.
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