A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of statin-based therapy in patients with COVID-19

Guoying Kao, Yunlin Chen, Jun Xiao, Jinqi Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous observational studies and meta-analyses have suggested that statins could be beneficial in reducing the risk of adverse clinical outcomes. This study is the first to conduct a meta-analysis of recently published randomized controlled clinical trials investigating the potential therapeutic benefits of statins for COVID-19. Materials and methods: A thorough search was conducted using databases such as PubMed and Embase until May 2023 to identify randomized controlled clinical trials investigating the use of statins in patients with COVID-19. Review Manager 5.4 was used to analyze the selected studies. Results: Seven randomized controlled trials comprising a total of 2,370 patients were included in this study. Of these, 1,295 patients received statin therapy, while 1,075 received placebo or other drugs. All included studies were conducted on inpatients with an average age of 45 – 61 years, and the proportion of patients with diabetes and coronary heart disease was less than 30%. One study only included severely ill patients. Our results showed that statin treatment did not significantly reduce hospitalized patient mortality (11.5 vs. 13.4%, p = 0.94), the proportion of patients transferred to intensive care due to disease changes (14.2 vs. 11.2%, p = 0.41), or the proportion of patients requiring mechanical ventilation (5.3 vs. 7.9%, p = 0.71) compared to controls. However, the use of statins was associated with a slight increase in hospital stay. Conclusion: A critical appraisal of published randomized controlled trials on statin therapy in COVID-19 did not show any significant effect on mortality, the risk of transfer to intensive care, or mechanical ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)482-491
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • meta-analysis
  • outcome
  • randomized controlled trials
  • statin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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