Study suggests a possible cardiovascular preventative benefit of hydroxychloroquine

A nested case-control study conducted by a group of researchers from the University of British Columbia has noted that the current hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) use is associated with a reduced risk of overall cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The study was conducted on 10,268 cases and 29,969 controls. The corresponding adjusted conditional odd ratios noted for current HCQ use relative to remote use with regard to combined CV events, MI, stroke, and VTE were 0.86, 0.88,0.87, and 0.74. The odds of combined CV events for recent HCQ users and non-users were comparable to that of remote users (cORs 0.93 and 0.96 respectively).

A systematic review published by Prodromos et al. in 2020 has noted that HCQ reduces adverse CV events. The combined use of HCQ and azithromycin was found to significantly reduce cardiac mortality and the occurrence of thrombosis, arrhythmia, and cholesterol in treated patients. The researchers have also reported that there is no need to limit the use of HCQ in COVID-19 patients. Several studies have reported the cardioprotective effect of HCQ. Hence, it can be considered as a primary agent to treat COVID-19 in patients who developed cardiac abnormalities.

Reference: Jorge A, Lu N, Choi H, Esdaile JM, Lacaille D, Avina-Zubieta JA. Hydroxychloroquine Use and Cardiovascular Events Among Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Rheumatoid Arthritis [published online ahead of print, 2021 Dec 23]. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2021;10.1002/acr.24850.