Low-Dose Aspirin Use May Decrease COVID-19 Risks

George Washington University researchers found aspirin may have lung-protective effects in hospitalized COVID-19 patients
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Washington DC (Coronavirus Today)

George Washington University researchers found low-dose aspirin use may reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission, and in-hospital mortality with hospitalized COVID-19 patients. 

Published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia on March 17, 2021, this retrospective, observational cohort study preliminary findings were first published as a non-peer-reviewed preprint in 2020.

‘Our research found an association between low dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death,’ stated these researchers.

Four-hundred and twelve patients admitted from March to July 2020 to hospitals around the United States, including those at GW Hospital in Washington DC, 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). 

However, there were no differences in major bleeding or overt thrombosis between aspirin users and non-aspirin users.

"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," stated Jonathan Chow, M.D., assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and director of the Critical Care Anesthesiology Fellowship at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in a press statement.

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

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on July 7, 2020, suggested that systemic anticoagulation reduces mortality in mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients.

While aspirin use may reduce cardiovascular events, a recent randomized control trial and meta-analysis found that it also increases the risk for significant bleeding.

In addition to Chow, study authors include Dr. David Yamane, assistant professor of emergency medicine and anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Ivy Benjenk, RN, MPH, lead research coordinator for the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at GW Hospital; and Dr. Shannon Cain, a third-year resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences; as well as researchers from the University of Maryland Medical Center, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Northeast Georgia Health System.

These researchers did not disclose industry conflicts of interest.

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