Identification of drugs associated with reduced severity of COVID-19: A case-control study in a large population
Elife. 2021 Jul 27;10:e68165. doi: 10.7554/eLife.68165
Ariel Israel 1, Alejandro A Schäffer 2, Assi Cicurel 3, Ilan Feldhamer 1, Ameer Tal 1, Kuoyuan Cheng 2, Sanju Sinha 2, Eyal Schiff 4, Gil Lavie 3, Eytan Ruppin 5
60,000 people - based on taking any amount of the drug in the previous 30 days
Only a few people would be taking enough vitamin D to make a difference, so only a small average %
- Vitamin D is one of 14 ways proven to treat COVID-19 – July 2021
- Severe COVID-19 3.5 more likely if low vitamin D (30 studies) – meta-analysis July 2021
- COVID-19 risks reduced by Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc, Resveratrol, Omega-3, etc. (auto-updated)
- Treatments for 303,000 COVID-19 patients: vitamin D is both popular and over-the-counter – May 2021
- Vitamin D has the most supporting science of all micronutrients to fight COVID-19 – May 2021
Background: Until COVID-19 drugs specifically developed to treat COVID-19 become more widely accessible, it is crucial to identify whether existing medications have a protective effect against severe disease. Towards this objective, we conducted a large population study in Clalit Health Services (CHS), the largest healthcare provider in Israel, insuring over 4.7 million members.
Methods: Two case-control matched cohorts were assembled to assess which medications, acquired in the last month, decreased the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization. Case patients were adults aged 18-95 hospitalized for COVID-19. In the first cohort, five control patients, from the general population, were matched to each case (n=6202); in the second cohort, two non-hospitalized SARS-CoV-2 positive control patients were matched to each case (n=6919). The outcome measures for a medication were: odds ratio (OR) for hospitalization, 95% confidence interval (CI), and the p-value, using Fisher's exact test. False discovery rate was used to adjust for multiple testing.
Results: Medications associated with most significantly reduced odds for COVID-19 hospitalization include:
- ubiquinone (OR=0.185, 95% CI (0.058 to 0.458), p<0.001),
- (VitaminDWiki has seen hints that it increases vitamin D levels)
- ezetimibe (OR=0.488, 95% CI (0.377 to 0.622)), p<0.001),
- rosuvastatin (OR=0.673, 95% CI (0.596 to 0.758), p<0.001),
- flecainide (OR=0.301, 95% CI (0.118 to 0.641), p<0.001), and
- vitamin D (OR=0.869, 95% CI (0.792 to 0.954), p<0.003).
Remarkably, acquisition of artificial tears, eye care wipes, and several ophthalmological products were also associated with decreased risk for hospitalization.
Conclusions: Ubiquinone, ezetimibe and rosuvastatin, all related to the cholesterol synthesis pathway were associated with reduced hospitalization risk. These findings point to a promising protective effect which should be further investigated in controlled, prospective studies.