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News and Research: Aspirin and COVID-19

Title: Aspirin Use is Associated with Decreased Mechanical Ventilation, ICU Admission, and In-Hospital Mortality in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 Journal of Anesthesia & Analgesia, Oct 21, 2020

Overview: Researchers did a retrospective study, looking at the data of COVID-19 patients in US hospitals between March and July 2020.

Patients were divided into two groups:

  • patients who took aspirin either before going to the hospital or within 24-hours or admittance
  • patients who didn’t take any aspirin.

After taking into account some confounding variables (BMI, vital signs at admission), the results showed:

  • The aspirin group was at a 44% decreased risk being put on a ventilator.
  • The aspirin group was at a 43% decreased risk for ICU admission.
  • In-hospital mortality didn’t differ statistically between the two groups.
  • Of note, the average age of the patients in the aspirin group was 9 years older than the no-aspirin group. Plus, the aspirin group contained significantly more patients with hypertension, diabetes, CAD, kidney disease, and liver disease.

My thoughts:  It is interesting to see the impact of aspirin on ICU admission and ventilators. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that doctors in March may not have been as aware of the blood clot issues with COVID as they were by July. At some point in that time period, there was a shift towards using anti-clotting medications, and heparin is now used more regularly. (Heparin helps prevent clots and it may also help stop the infection through binding to SARS-CoV-2) The question in my mind is whether at the first symptoms people should take aspirin as long as they don’t have any reasons not to take aspirin (bleeding disorder, allergy, children with a fever). For example, aspirin was one of the things that Pres. Trump reportedly took.

About the Author:
Debbie Moon is the founder of Genetic Lifehacks. Fascinated by the connections between genes, diet, and health, her goal is to help you understand how to apply genetics to your diet and lifestyle decisions. Debbie has a BS in engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MSc in biological sciences from Clemson University. Debbie combines an engineering mindset with a biological systems approach to help you understand how genetic differences impact your optimal health.