A recent study at the University of Maryland in the US has shown that hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were taking a daily low-dose aspirin to protect against cardiovascular disease had a significantly lower risk of complications and death. According to the study, COVID-19 patients who were taking aspirin showed fewer chances for the requirement to be placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) than those who were not taking aspirin. “COVID patients who were taking aspirin were not required to be placed under ventilation, and they were more like to survive the infection compared to those who were not taking aspirin. Also Read – Coronavirus: Once you have antibodies, are you safe?
According to researchers, this is a critical finding that needs to be confirmed through a randomized clinical trial. If this finding is confirmed, it would make aspirin the first widely available, over-the-counter medication to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients. Also Read – Coronavirus antibodies can make you immune for at least 5 months, says study
It reduces risk of mortality by 47 per cent
To conduct the study, the research team culled through the medical records of 412 Covid-19 patients, the age of 55 on average, who were hospitalized over the past few months due to complications of their infection. About a quarter of the patients were taking a daily low-dose aspirin (usually 81 milligrams) before they were admitted or right after admission to manage their cardiovascular disease. The researchers found aspirin use 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 the hospital compared to those who were not taking aspirin. Also Read – WHO to set up COVID-19 vaccine insurance scheme for 92 low-income countries
It comes with little side-effects
The patients in the aspirin group did not experience a significant increase in adverse events such as major bleeding while hospitalized. In a nutshell, the results of the study showed that:
- The risk of requiring mechanical ventilation for breathing difficulty was 35.7 percent in patients who took aspirin while it was 48.4 percent in non-aspirin patients.
- The risk of getting admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) was 38.8 percent in patients who took aspirin while it was 51.0 percent in non-aspirin patients.
A word of caution
However, the research has also highlighted that the daily use of aspirin can also increase the risk of major bleeding or peptic ulcer disease. According to them, the blood-thinning effects of aspirin provide benefits for COVID-19 patients by preventing micro clot formation. Those at increased bleeding risk due to chronic kidney disease, for example, or because they regularly use certain medications, like steroids or blood thinners, may not be able to safely take aspirin. However, further research is required to confirm the link between the use of aspirin and its effect on lung injury and deaths related to COVID-19 infection.
(With inputs from IANS)
Published : October 30, 2020 6:14 pm