The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor as an entry point to the cell. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a risk factor for COVID-19 with poor outcomes. We tested the hypothesis that the rate of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) and angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) use is associated with the rate of COVID-19–confirmed cases and deaths. We conducted a geospatial, ecological study using publicly available county-level data. The Medicare ACEI and ARB prescription rate was exposure. The COVID-19–confirmed case and death rates were outcomes. Spatial autoregression models were adjusted for the rate of births and deaths; Group Quarters population; percentage of female; percentage of Native American, Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and Black; percentage of children and older (>65 years) adults; percentage of uninsured; percentage of those living in poverty; percentage of those who are obese, smoking, admitting insufficient sleep, and those with at least some college degree; median household income; air quality index; CVD hospitalization rate in Medicare beneficiaries; and CVD death rate in a total county population. After adjustment for confounders, the ACEI use rate did not associate with COVID-19–confirmed case rate (direct county-own effect + 0.027%; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.080 to 1.134; p = 0.962; indirect spillover effect + 0.26%; 95% CI −70.0 to 70.5; p = 0.994). Similarly, the ARB use rate was not associated with COVID-19–confirmed case rate (direct effect + 0.029%; 95% CI −0.803 to 0.862; p = 0.945; indirect effect + 0.19%; 95% CI −52.8 to 53.2; p = 0.994). In both unadjusted and adjusted Bayesian zero inflation Poisson analysis, neither ACEI nor ARB use rates were associated with COVID-19 death rates. In conclusion, ACEI and ARB use rates were not associated with COVID-19 infectivity and death rate in this ecological study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine