Study shows a correlation between taking aspirin and a lower death rate. 

A new study has shown that something in our home medicine cabinet can help prevent death from COVID-19. 

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine released a study last week that shows that hospitalized COIVD-19 patients who were taking a low dose of aspirin had a lower risk of complications and death compared to those who were not. The study was published last week in the Journal of Anesthesia and Analgesia.

The study looked at 412 patients with an average age of 55. Of those, 314 did not take aspirin, and 98 took aspirin within 24 hours of hospital admission or had been taking aspirin seven days before hospitalization. The patients who received aspirin were 43% less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and were 44% less likely to be placed on a mechanical ventilator. Those who took aspirin were 47% less likely to die in the hospital. 

Patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, as well as three other East Coast hospitals, were observed between March and July 2020.

Aspirin has blood-thinning qualities and decreases inflammation and is often taken to help reduce the risk of blood clots. It is often taken by patients to manage cardiovascular disease as it has been proven very helpful to treat coronary artery disease as well as help those with a history of strokes.  

“We believe that the blood-thinning effects of aspirin provides benefits for COVID-19 patients by preventing microclot formation. Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 may want to consider taking a daily aspirin as long as they check with their doctor first,” said study co-author Michael A. Mazzeffi, MD, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at UMSOM. 

As an observational study, there is no research into cause and effect, or why aspirin would be beneficial. While more studies and research need to be conducted, this is valuable information that will help doctors and researchers learn how to better treat the virus. 

This study is encouraging, however, it is not a substitute for medical advice. Do not start an aspirin regimen without consulting your doctor.