Blood Thinner Usage Lead to Reduced COVID-19 Mortality

Prophylactic anticoagulation treatment reduced coronavirus disease 2019 mortality
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London (Coronavirus Today)

A team led by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine mined the data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and identified a favorable treatment protocol.

In this observational study, these researchers found that initiation of prophylactic, heparin-based anticoagulation compared with no anticoagulation within 24 hours of admission was associated with a lower risk of 30-day mortality and in-hospital mortality.

Patients who received anticoagulants had a 27% lower risk of death within 30 days than those who didn't receive them (hazard ratio, 0.73). Similar associations were identified for inpatient death.

This early initiation of prophylactic anticoagulation was not associated with an increased risk of bleeding that required transfusion. 

“We observed similar protective effects for secondary outcomes, including inpatient mortality and initiation of therapeutic anticoagulation, a proxy for the clinical deterioration that included thromboembolic events.”

“Our results provide strong real-world evidence to support guidelines recommending the use of prophylactic anticoagulation as initial treatment for patients with covid-19 on hospital admission,” stated these researchers published in the BMJ on February 11, 2021.

Of the 3,627 (84.4%) VA patients who received prophylactic anticoagulants (subcutaneous heparin or enoxaparin) on their first day in the hospital, 14.3% died within 30 days, compared with 18.7% of those who didn't receive the drugs. 

Of these patients, 93% were men, with an average age of 68.

Anticoagulant use was not linked to an increased risk of severe bleeding requiring transfusion.

These researchers noted that while previous studies had found evidence of anticoagulants’ effectiveness in coronavirus patients, they had small sample sizes or were conducted in relatively small healthcare systems.

The Veterans Affairs Medications, Safety, and Effectiveness Collaboratory Workgroup vetted the study design and statistical approach before study approval. These researchers disclosed no industry conflicts of interest.

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