Science

Aspirin lowers risk of Covid-19 complications: Study

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on November 09, 2020 Published on November 09, 2020

If this critical finding is confirmed through randomised clinical trial, aspirin would become the first OTC medication to reduce mortality in Covid-19 patients’

People with cardiovascular diseases and on a low dose of aspirin were able to avert Covid-19 severity and death.

A new study carried by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), stated that aspirin takers were less likely to face severe consequences than those who did not take the drug.

The researchers, in their study published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia, call it a “cautious optimism,” as aspirins are cheap and accessible.

Also read: Aspirin may combat cancer, too: study

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

For the study, the researchers examined the medical records of 412 Covid-19 patients, whose average age was 55 and were hospitalised after getting infected with the virus.

About a quarter of the patients were taking a daily low dose of aspirin (usually 81 milligrams) before they were admitted or right after admission to manage their cardiovascular disease.

The findings of the study revealed that the use of aspirin was associated with a 44 per cent reduction in the risk of being put on a mechanical ventilator, a 43 per cent decrease in the risk of ICU admission, and ― most importantly ― a 47 per cent decrease in the risk of dying in hospital compared to those who were not taking aspirin.

Those who consumed aspirin did not witness any adverse events associated with Covid-19, including major bleeding.

Also read: Why aspirin may not keep the first heart attack away in older people

Covid-19 infections can increase the risk of developing blood clots in the heart, lungs, blood vessels, and other organs. Such complications can further lead to, in rare cases, heart attacks, strokes, and multiple organ failure as well as death.

Study co-author Michael A Mazzeffi, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at UMSOM, said: “We believe that the blood-thinning effects of aspirin provide benefits for Covid-19 patients by preventing micro clot formation.”

“Patients diagnosed with Covid-19 may want to consider taking a daily aspirin as long as they check with their doctor first,” added Mazzeffi.

Those at increased risk of bleeding due to chronic kidney disease, for example, or because they regularly use certain medications like steroids or blood thinners, may not be able to take aspirin safely, he added.

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Published on November 09, 2020
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