Yonsei Med J.  2021 Jul;62(7):577-583. 10.3349/ymj.2021.62.7.577.

Incidence and Mortality Associated with Cardiovascular Medication among Hypertensive COVID-19 Patients in South Korea

  • 1Departments of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Cardiovascular Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea
  • 2Departments of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea


We aimed to investigate whether the use of cardiovascular drugs in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients with hypertension as a comorbidity has a significant effect on the incidence and associated mortality rate of COVID-19.
Materials and Methods
Data covering the period between January 1, 2020 and June 4, 2020 were extracted from The National Health Insurance Service-COVID-19 (NHIS-COVID-19) database in South Korea and analyzed as a population-based cohort study.
A total of 101657 hypertensive adults aged 20 years or older were included for final analysis. Among them, 1889 patients (1.9%) were diagnosed with COVID-19 between January 1, 2020 and June 4, 2020, and hospital mortality occurred in 193 patients (10.2%). In a multivariable model, the use of beta-blockers was associated with an 18% lower incidence of COVID-19 [odds ratio (OR): 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.69–0.98; p=0.029]. Among 1889 hypertensive patients diagnosed with COVID-19, the use of a calcium channel blocker (CCB) was associated with a 42% lower hospital mortality rate (OR: 0.58, 95% CI: 0.38–0.89; p=0.012). The use of other cardiovascular drugs was not associated with the incidence of COVID-19 or hospital mortality rate among COVID-19 patients. Similar results were observed in all 328374 adults in the NHIS-COVID-19 database, irrespective of the presence of hypertension.
In South Korea, beta-blockers exhibited potential benefits in lowering the incidence of COVID-19 among hypertensive patients. Furthermore, CCBs may lower the hospital mortality rate among hypertensive COVID-19 patients. These findings were also applied to the general adult population, regardless of hypertension.


Hypertension; aspirin; clopidogrel; viruses; cohort studies
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