Table_1_Protective effect of ursodeoxycholic acid on COVID-19 in patients with chronic liver disease.docx
Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) may reduce susceptibility to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection by downregulating angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), based on recent experimental investigation. This study aimed to determine the potential protective effect of UDCA against SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with chronic liver disease.Methods
Patients with chronic liver disease receiving UDCA (taking UDCA ≥1 month) at Beijing Ditan Hospital between January 2022 and December 2022 were consecutively enrolled. These patients were matched in a 1:1 ratio to those with liver disease not receiving UDCA during the same period by using a propensity score matching analysis with nearest neighbor matching algorithm. We conducted a phone survey of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection during the early phase of the pandemic liberation (from 15 December 2022 to 15 January 2023). The risk of COVID-19 was compared in two matched cohorts of 225 UDCA users and 225 non-UDCA users based on patient self-report.Results
In the adjusted analysis, the control group was superior to the UDCA group in COVID-19 vaccination rates and liver function indicators, including γ-glutamyl transpeptidase and alkaline phosphatase (p < 0.05). UDCA was associated with a lower incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection (UDCA 85.3% vs. control 94.2%, p = 0.002), more mild cases (80.0% vs. 72.0%, p = 0.047), and shorter median time from infection to recovery (5 vs. 7 days, p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed that UDCA was a significant protective factor against COVID-19 infection (OR: 0.32, 95%CI: 0.16–0.64, p = 0.001). Furthermore, diabetes mellitus (OR: 2.48, 95%CI: 1.11–5.54, p = 0.027) and moderate/severe infection (OR: 8.94, 95%CI: 1.07–74.61, p = 0.043) were more likely to prolong the time from infection to recovery.Conclusion
UDCA therapy may be beneficial in reducing COVID-19 infection risk, alleviating symptoms, and shortening the recovery time in patients with chronic liver disease. However, it should be emphasized that the conclusions were based on patient self-report rather than classical COVID-19 detection by experimental investigations. Further large clinical and experimental studies are needed to validate these findings.