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BackgroundThe influence of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors on the critically ill COVID-19 patients with pre-existing hypertension remains uncertain. This study examined the impact of previous use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) on the critically ill COVID-19 patients.MethodsData from an international, prospective, observational cohort study involving 354 hospitals spanning 54 countries were included. A cohort of 737 COVID-19 patients with pre-existing hypertension admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in 2020 were targeted. Multi-state survival analysis was performed to evaluate in-hospital mortality and hospital length of stay up to 90 days following ICU admission.ResultsA total of 737 patients were included-538 (73%) with pre-existing hypertension had received ACEi/ARBs before ICU admission, while 199 (27%) had not. Cox proportional hazards model showed that previous ACEi/ARB use was associated with a decreased hazard of in-hospital death (HR, 0.74, 95% CI 0.58-0.94). Sensitivity analysis adjusted for propensity scores showed similar results for hazards of death. The average length of hospital stay was longer in ACEi/ARB group with 21.2 days (95% CI 19.7-22.8 days) in ICU and 6.7 days (5.9-7.6 days) in general ward compared to non-ACEi/ARB group with 16.2 days (14.1-18.6 days) and 6.4 days (5.1-7.9 days), respectively. When analysed separately, results for ACEi or ARB patient groups were similar for both death and discharge.ConclusionsIn critically ill COVID-19 patients with comorbid hypertension, use of ACEi/ARBs prior to ICU admission was associated with a reduced risk of in-hospital mortality following adjustment for baseline characteristics although patients with ACEi/ARB showed longer length of hospital stay. Clinical trial registration The registration number: ACTRN12620000421932; The date of registration: 30, March 2020; The URL of the registration: .

Original publication





BMC cardiovascular disorders

Publication Date





Critical Care Research Group, The Prince Charles Hospital, Level 3, Clinical Sciences Building, Chermside, Brisbane, QLD, 4032, Australia.


COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium Investigators, Humans, Hypertension, Critical Illness, Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors, Hospital Mortality, Retrospective Studies, Cohort Studies, Prospective Studies, Renin-Angiotensin System, Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists, COVID-19