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New Landmark Study Finds Aspirin Use Reduces Risk of Death in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Oct 2020
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A new landmark study has found that hospitalized patients who were taking daily aspirin had lower risk of ICU admission, ventilation, and dying from the SARS-CoV-2 virus

The study led by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD, USA) found that hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were taking a daily low-dose aspirin to protect against cardiovascular disease had a significantly lower risk of complications and death compared to those who were not taking aspirin. Aspirin takers were less likely to be placed in the intensive care unit (ICU) or hooked up to a mechanical ventilator, and they were more likely to survive the infection compared to hospitalized patients who were not taking aspirin. The study provides “cautious optimism” for an inexpensive, accessible medication with a well-known safety profile that could help prevent severe complications, according to the researchers.

To conduct the study, the researchers culled through the medical records of 412 COVID-19 patients, age of 55 on average, who were hospitalized over the past few months due to complications of their infection. About a quarter of the patients were taking a daily low-dose aspirin (usually 81 milligrams) before they were admitted or right after admission to manage their cardiovascular disease. The researchers found aspirin use was associated with a 44% reduction in the risk of being put on a mechanical ventilator, a 43% decrease in the risk of ICU admission and most importantly, a 47% decrease in the risk of dying in the hospital compared to those who were not taking aspirin. The patients in the aspirin group did not experience a significant increase in adverse events such as major bleeding while hospitalized.

“This is a critical finding that needs to be confirmed through a randomized clinical trial,” said study leader Jonathan Chow, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at UMSOM. “If our finding is confirmed, it would make aspirin the first widely available, over-the-counter medication to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients.”

“We believe that the blood thinning effects of aspirin provides benefits for COVID-19 patients by preventing microclot formation,” said study co-author Michael A. Mazzeffi, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at UMSOM. “Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 may want to consider taking a daily aspirin as long as they check with their doctor first.”

Related Links:
University of Maryland School of Medicine


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