Statins use and COVID-19 outcomes in hospitalized patients

Samuel K. Ayeh, Enoch J. Abbey, Banda A.A. Khalifa, Richard D. Nudotor, Albert Danso Osei, Vignesh Chidambaram, Ngozi Osuji, Samiha Khan, Emmanuella L. Salia, Modupe O. Oduwole, Hasiya E. Yusuf, Oluwatobi Lasisi, Esosa Nosakhare, Petros C. Karakousis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background There is an urgent need for novel therapeutic strategies for reversing COVID-19-related lung inflammation. Recent evidence has demonstrated that the cholesterol-lowering agents, statins, are associated with reduced mortality in patients with various respiratory infections. We sought to investigate the relationship between statin use and COVID-19 disease severity in hospitalized patients. Methods A retrospective analysis of COVID-19 patients admitted to the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 was performed. The outcomes of interest were mortality and severe COVID-19 infection, as defined by prolonged hospital stay ( 7 days) and/ or invasive mechanical ventilation. Logistic regression, Cox proportional hazards regression and propensity score matching were used to obtain both univariable and multivariable associations between covariates and outcomes in addition to the average treatment effect of statin use. Results Of the 4,447 patients who met our inclusion criteria, 594 (13.4%) patients were exposed to statins on admission, of which 340 (57.2%) were male. The mean age was higher in statin users compared to non-users [64.9 ± 13.4 vs. 45.5 ± 16.6 years, p <0.001]. The average treatment effect of statin use on COVID-19-related mortality was RR = 1.00 (95% CI: 0.99 1.01, p = 0.928), while its effect on severe COVID-19 infection was RR = 1.18 (95% CI: 1.11 1.27, p <0.001). Conclusion Statin use was not associated with altered mortality, but with an 18% increased risk of severe COVID-19 infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0256899
JournalPloS one
Issue number9 September
StatePublished - Sep 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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