There currently exists limited and conflicting clinical data on the use of statins amongst COVID-19 patients. Given the paucity and lack of consensus among data on statin's efficacy and safety, the current guideline is to continue statin in patients who have previously been treated with statins. We conducted a population-based retrospective study using South Korea's nationwide healthcare database.
Background: There currently exists limited and conflicting clinical data on the use of statins amongst COVID-19 patients. Given the both paucity and lack of consensus among data on statin's efficacy and safety amongst COVID-19 patients, the current guideline is to continue statin in COVID-19 patients, who have previously been treated with statins. The aim of this paper was to compare hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who did and did not receive statins, in terms of COVID-19 outcomes. Methods: We conducted population-based retrospective study using South Korea's nationwide healthcare database as of May 15 2020. We identified 4,349 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and aged 40 years or older. The cohort entry was defined as the date of hospitalization. Statin users were individuals with inpatient and outpatient prescription records of statins in the 240 days before cohort entry, and non-users were those without such records during this period. Our primary outcome was a composite endpoint of all-cause death, intensive care unit (ICU) admission, mechanical ventilation use and cardiovascular outcomes (myocardial infarction (MI), transient cerebral ischemic attacks (TIA) or stroke). We conducted inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW)-adjusted logistic regression analysis to estimate odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI), to compare outcomes between statin users and non-users. Findings: 1,115 patients were statin users (mean age = 65.9 years; 60% female), and 3,234 were non-users (mean age = 58.3 years; 64% female). Statin use was not associated with increased risk of the primary outcome (IPTW OR 0.82; 95% CI: 0.60-1.11). Subgroup analysis showed a protective role of statins, for individuals with hypertension (IPTW OR 0.40; 95% CI: 0.23-0.69, p for interaction: 0.0087). Interpretation: Given that statins are not detrimental and that it may be beneficial amongst hypertensive patients and relatively cheap, we would encourage further investigation into statin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.