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Article

Recent Hydroxychloroquine Use Is Not Significantly Associated with Positive PCR Results for SARS-CoV-2: A Nationwide Observational Study in South Korea

1
Asan Medical Center, Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
2
Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Jeju National University School of Medicine, Jeju National University Hospital, Jeju 63241, Korea
3
Asan Medical Center, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
4
Clinical Research Center, Asan Medical Center, Asan Institute for Life Sciences, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
5
Asan Medical Center, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul 05505, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Kenneth Lundstrom
Viruses 2021, 13(2), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020329
Received: 26 January 2021 / Revised: 15 February 2021 / Accepted: 15 February 2021 / Published: 20 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines and Therapeutics against Coronaviruses)
Background: To evaluate the role of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as pre-exposure prophylaxis against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we investigated the prevalence of positive test results for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing according to recent HCQ use in patients who had been tested using nationwide health-insurance data of South Korea. Methods: All adults tested for SARS-CoV-2 from 20 January 2020 to 15 May 2020 were identified. HCQ users were defined as patients who had been pretreated with HCQ for at least 30 days until the date of SARS-CoV-2 testing. The prevalence of positive PCR results for SARS-CoV-2 was compared between HCQ users and nonusers. Results: Of a total of 216,686 individuals who had been tested for SARS-CoV-2, 743 (0.3%) were pretreated with HCQ. The prevalence of positive results was not significantly different between HCQ users (2.2%) and nonusers (2.7%; P = 0.35), with an odds ratio of 0.79 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.48–1.30). Propensity score-matched-cohort analysis showed similar results in terms of the prevalence of positive results (2.2% in HCQ users vs. 3.1% in nonusers; P = 0.18), with an odds ratio of 0.69 (95% CI, 0.40–1.19). The rate of positive PCR was not significantly different in long-term HCQ users (more than 3 or 6 months) compared with nonusers. Conclusions: In this population-based study, recent exposure to HCQ was not significantly associated with a lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data do not support the use of HCQ as pre-exposure prophylaxis against COVID-19. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroxychloroquine; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; prophylaxis hydroxychloroquine; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; prophylaxis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bae, S.; Ghang, B.; Kim, Y.-J.; Lim, J.S.; Yun, S.-C.; Kim, Y.-G.; Lee, S.-O.; Kim, S.-H. Recent Hydroxychloroquine Use Is Not Significantly Associated with Positive PCR Results for SARS-CoV-2: A Nationwide Observational Study in South Korea. Viruses 2021, 13, 329. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020329

AMA Style

Bae S, Ghang B, Kim Y-J, Lim JS, Yun S-C, Kim Y-G, Lee S-O, Kim S-H. Recent Hydroxychloroquine Use Is Not Significantly Associated with Positive PCR Results for SARS-CoV-2: A Nationwide Observational Study in South Korea. Viruses. 2021; 13(2):329. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020329

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bae, Seongman, Byeongzu Ghang, Ye-Jee Kim, Joon S. Lim, Sung-Cheol Yun, Yong-Gil Kim, Sang-Oh Lee, and Sung-Han Kim. 2021. "Recent Hydroxychloroquine Use Is Not Significantly Associated with Positive PCR Results for SARS-CoV-2: A Nationwide Observational Study in South Korea" Viruses 13, no. 2: 329. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13020329

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