Low-dose aspirin may reduce Covid hospitalisations and deaths, researchers say

‘As we learned about the connection between blood clots and Covid-19, we knew that aspirin ... could be important for Covid-19 patients,’ researcher says

Coronavirus in numbers

Aspirin could help protect the lungs of people suffering from Covid-19 and prevent them from having to be placed on mechanical ventilation, a study has suggested.

A low dose of the drug, which is typically used as a blood thinner, may also help keep patients out of intensive care units and reduce the risk of death, researchers at George Washington University reported.

"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 CovidD-19 patients," said Jonathan Chow, assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

"Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity of Covid-19 and death."

In a study published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, the team looked at the health records of 412 patients admitted to hospitals around the US between March and July last year.

Of those, about 24 per cent received aspirin within 24 days of admission or in the seven days before, though most did not receive the drug.

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They found aspirin was associated with a 44-per-cent decrease in risk of mechanical ventilation, a 43-per-cent reduction in ICU admission and a 47-per-cent reduction of in-hospital mortality.

Other studies have reported similar findings, and the Recovery Trial in the UK is investigating the use of aspirin to combat Covid-19 in a standard randomised control trial.

Aspirin is already used to prevent blood clots for people who suffer heart attacks and strokes, and for pre-eclampsia in pregnant women.

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