Health

Aspirin Is “Huge Win” for Those Looking to Reduce Risk From Some of the Most Devastating Effects of COVID-19

Aspirin

Researchers from the George Washington University found that aspirin may have lung-protective effects and reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and in-hospital mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

George Washington University researchers found low dose aspirin may reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and in-hospital mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Final results indicating the lung protective effects of aspirin were published today in Anesthesia & Analgesia.
“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,” Jonathan Chow, MD, 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, said. “Our research found an association between low dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death.”
Over 400 patients admitted from March to July 2020 to hospitals around the United States, including those at GW Hospital, 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). There were no differences in major bleeding or overt thrombosis between aspirin users and non-aspirin users.
Preliminary findings were first published as a preprint in fall 2020. Since then, other studies have confirmed the impact aspirin can have on both preventing infection and reducing risk for severe COVID-19 and death. 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 low cost, easily accessible and millions are already using it to treat their health conditions,” said Chow. “Finding this association is a huge win for those looking to reduce risk from some of the most devastating effects of COVID-19.”
Reference: “Aspirin Use Is Associated With Decreased Mechanical Ventilation, Intensive Care Unit Admission, and In-Hospital Mortality in Hospitalized Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019” by Chow, Jonathan H. MD; Khanna, Ashish K. MD, FCCP, FCCM; Kethireddy, Shravan MD; Yamane, David MD; Levine, Andrea MD; Jackson, Amanda M. MD; McCurdy, Michael T. MD; Tabatabai, Ali MD; Kumar, Gagan MD; Park, Paul MD; Benjenk, Ivy RN, MPH; Menaker, Jay MD; Ahmed, Nayab MD; Glidewell, Evan MD; Presutto, Elizabeth MD; Cain, Shannon MD; Haridasa, Naeha BS; Field, Wesley MD; Fowler, Jacob G. BS; Trinh, Duy MD; Johnson, Kathleen N. BS; Kaur, Aman DO; Lee, Amanda BS; Sebastian, Kyle MD; Ulrich, Allison MD; Peña, Salvador MD, PhD; Carpenter, Ross MD; Sudhakar, Shruti MD; Uppal, Pushpinder MD; Fedeles, Benjamin T. MD, Capt, USAF, MC; Sachs, Aaron MD; Dahbour, Layth MD; Teeter, William MD; Tanaka, Kenichi MD; Galvagno, Samuel M. DO, PhD; Herr, Daniel L. MD; Scalea, Thomas M. MD and Mazzeffi, Michael A. MD, MPH, 21 October 2020, Anesthesia & Analgesia.
DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000005292
In addition to Chow, study authors include David Yamane, MD, 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 Shannon Cain, MD, 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.

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  • Why use as illustration for a study on the benefit of low-dose aspirin (IQR 81 mg) the image of a bottle with regular dose aspirin tablets (325 mg)? Leaving aside proper reporting practice, don't you think --at a time when some frightened people even ingested bleach trying to prevent getting COVID in 2020-- that showing the image of a low-dose aspirin bottle may avoid in some people an unnecessary 4 times higher ingestion of a drug that is not without non-trivial side effects?

    • I agree that the quality of the reporting could be improved.

      The first paragraph contains the sentence, "... low dose aspirin may reduce the need for mechanical ventilation, ICU admission and in-hospital mortality ..." could be read as reducing the need for in-hospital mortality. Sloppy writing!

  • It is much worse than just "sloppy writing" to use only the vague term "low dose aspirin" without specifying the actual dosage. While one might assume that 81 mg is meant, it is indefensible for a "scientific article" to not quantify the medication.

    It is very disheartening to observe the prevalence of such incompetence in so many authors as well as the editors who allow such flawed writing to be published.

    • The report (and perhaps the study), seems very incomplete in that nothing is said about the length of time the aspirin had been taken. Many people take 80mg of aspirin daily for heart and other reasons. I would expect that the history of aspirin intake of this cohort would have a significant effect of these results.

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