Study finds link between low dose aspirin and decreased COVID-19 severity, death

George Washington University researchers found low dose aspirin may reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and in-hospital mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Final results indicating the lung protective effects of aspirin were published today in Anesthesia & Analgesia.

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."

Jonathan Chow, MD, Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Director, Critical Care Anesthesiology Fellowship, GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Over 400 patients admitted from March to July 2020 to hospitals around the United States, including those at GW Hospital, the University of Maryland Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Northeast Georgia Health System, were included in the study. After adjusting for demographics and comorbidities, aspirin use was associated with a decreased risk of mechanical ventilation (44% reduction), ICU admission (43% reduction), and in-hospital mortality (47% reduction). There were no differences in major bleeding or overt thrombosis between aspirin users and non-aspirin users.

Preliminary findings were first published as a preprint in fall 2020. Since then, other studies have confirmed the impact aspirin can have on both preventing infection and reducing risk for severe COVID-19 and death. Chow hopes that this study leads to more research on whether a causal relationship exists between aspirin use and reduced lung injury in COVID-19 patients.

"Aspirin is low cost, easily accessible and millions are already using it to treat their health conditions," said Chow. "Finding this association is a huge win for those looking to reduce risk from some of the most devastating effects of COVID-19."

Source:
Journal reference:

Chow, J.H., et al. (2021) Aspirin Use Is Associated With Decreased Mechanical Ventilation, Intensive Care Unit Admission, and In-Hospital Mortality in Hospitalized Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019. Anesthesia & Analgesia. doi.org/10.1213/ANE.0000000000005292.

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