A new study finds that simple, over-the-counter aspirin may be able to protect COVID-19 patients from extreme risk, including the need for mechanical ventilation, the Jerusalem Post reported.
What are the details?
New research from George Washington University has determined that treating COVID patients with aspirin reduced the risk of severe illness by nearly half.
The report noted that an aspirin regimen in more than 400 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the United States cut the need for ventilation by 44%, slashed ICU admission by 43%, and reduced overall in-hospital mortality rates by 47%.
Dr. Jonathan Chow, one of the study's researchers, said, "As we learned about the connection between blood clots and COVID-19, we knew that aspirin — used to prevent stroke and heart attack — could be important for COVID-19 patients. Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death."
A low-dose aspirin regimen has long been touted as potentially lifesaving for people at risk of heart attack or stroke or who are afflicted by blood clotting issues.
Chow added, "Aspirin is low-cost, easily accessible, and millions are already using it to treat their health conditions. Finding this association is a huge win for those looking to reduce risk from some of the most devastating effects of COVID-19."
This isn't the only study professing the possible benefits of aspirin in COVID patients. Earlier in October, Medical Express reported that researchers from the University of Minnesota and Basel University in Switzerland came to the same conclusion.
The researchers' findings were published in Lancet's Open Access eClinical Medicine and revealed that patients on blood thinners before getting COVID were admitted less often to the hospital despite being older and having more chronic medical conditions than their peers. The findings also revealed that blood thinners — whether started before or after COVID-19 infection — reduced death by nearly half.
Lead author Sameh Hozayen said, "We know that COVID-19 causes blood clots that can kill patients. But, do blood thinners save lives in COVID-19? Blood thinners are medications prescribed to prevent blood clots in patients with a prior blood clot in their lungs or legs. They also prevent blood clots in the brain secondary to abnormal heart rhythms, like atrial fibrillation. Blood thinners are the standard of treatment in these diseases, which is why we looked at data to see if it impacted hospitalizations related to COVID-19."
"We already know that overwhelmed hospitals have a higher risk for death among their patients, so reducing hospitalization may have a positive impact during a COVID-19 surge," Hozayen added.
"Unfortunately, about half of patients who are being prescribed blood thinners for blood clots in their legs, lungs, abnormal heart rhythms or other reasons, do not take them," Hozayen continued. "By increasing adherence for people already prescribed blood thinners, we can potentially reduce the bad effects of COVID-19.