A recent study by a team of professors from the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, found that aspirin is associated with reduced risk of intubation and death among patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
Professors of the Therapeutic Clinic of NKUA, Efstathios Kastritis and Thanos Dimopoulos, confirm that the findings of an observational study show that aspirin can potentially help in the battle against the novel coronavirus.
The study published in the medical journal Anesthesia & Analgesia claims that aspirin, although a “simple, affordable and widely available drug,” has played a beneficial role in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and is likely to reduce the chances of a patient being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).
However, the study clarifies that so far there is no scientific proof that COVID-19 mortality rates can be decreased thanks to aspirin, and similarly, the Greek professors emphasized to the public that no research has proven whether aspirin can help prevent or reduce the chances of COVID-19 infection.
The study analysed data from 412 patients infected with COVID-19 (with a mean age of 55 years old) from a database from four major US hospitals.
Out of these patients, 314 did not receive aspirin at all.
Of the remaining patients who received aspirin, 75.5% received it before admission to the hospital and 86.7% received it within 24 hours of admission to the hospital. The mean dose of aspirin was 81mg and the median duration of treatment was 6 days.
Patients receiving aspirin were more likely to have a history of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and kidney disease, and the proportion of those receiving treatment for COVID-19 did not differ between groups.
The analysis of patient data showed that the use of aspirin is associated with a lower need for intubation (35.7% vs. 48.4% when no aspirin was administered) and with fewer admissions to an intensive care unit (38.8% vs. 51% for the patients who did not take aspirin).
After adjusting eight important variables for all patients (age, gender, body mass index, race, hypertension and diabetes history), aspirin appears to reduce the need for intubation (44% risk reduction), introduction into ICU (by 43%) and in-hospital mortality (by 47%).
Additionally, no differences were observed in bleeding or clinically evident thrombosis among those taking aspirin and those not, which makes aspirin a safe choice – for the most part – for infected patients to use.
It has been previously found that COVID-19 is associated with hypercoagulability and micro thrombosis in the vascular network of the lungs, which is one of the most common and serious complications of the infection. Aspirin has a known anti-platelet effect and may possibly reduce the risk of these complications.
According to the professors of the Greek university, these results may be clinically significant, and have already attracted worldwide attention with more hospitals around Europe engaging in further research for the use of aspirin in COVID treatments and even vaccines.
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