Statin Use Prior to COVID-19 Infection Associated With Decreased Risk for Mortality, Severe Disease

Statins, or generic pills, pouring from a pack. Close up with shallow depth of field
Investigators conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis to assess the association between prior statin use and outcomes in patients with COVID-19.

Prior statin use was found to be associated with decreased risk for severe COVID-19 and COVID-19-related mortality, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic searched publication databases through December of 2020 for studies assessing COVID-19 and statin use. A total of 19 studies comprising 395,513 patients were included.

The studies were of retrospective cohort (n=16) and case-control (n=3) designs. Seventeen studies included all statins, 1 only atorvastatin, and 1 only rosuvastatin. No dosing information was available in any study. The study outcomes were mortality (n=14), severity (n=10), and diagnosis (n=3) related to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Statin use prior to COVID-19 diagnosis among 109,080 patients was associated with reduced risk for mortality (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 0.65; 95% CI, 0.56-0.77; I2, 84.1%). No evidence of publication bias was detected (P =.788).

Similarly, use of statins among a cohort of 48,110 individuals prior to a COVID-19 diagnosis was associated with reduced risk for severe disease (RR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.57-0.94; I2, 82.8%), with no evidence of publication bias (P =.531).

There were limited data available for the relationship between COVID-19 diagnosis with statin use, and the published data were conflicting. One study found decreased risk for COVID-19 diagnoses among 37,212 patients (odds ratio [OR], 0.746; 95% CI, 0.645-0.858), and another found increased risk among 49,245 patients (OR, 2.50; 95% CI, 1.48-4.21). A third study comprising 235,928 patients did not find a significant association between COVID-19 diagnosis and statin use.

This analysis was unable to assess whether individuals on statins practiced healthier lifestyles and whether these lifestyle factors were significant contributors to outcomes of COVID-19 disease.

This analysis was able to link statin use prior to COVID-19 diagnosis with decreased risk for severe disease and SARS-CoV-2-related mortality. There was little evidence to suggest statin use had any impact on COVID-19 diagnoses in general.

Disclosure: A study author declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Yetmar ZA, Chesdachai S, Kashour T, et al. Prior Statins use and risk of mortality and severe disease from COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021;ofab284. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofab284

This article originally appeared on Infectious Disease Advisor