BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A new landmark study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that COVID-19 patients taking a daily, low-dose aspirin to protect against cardiovascular disease significantly lowered the risk of death and complications from COVID-19.
The study found that COVID-19 patients taking aspirin were nearly 50% less likely to die in the hospital and much less likely to be admitted to the ICU and put on a ventilator.
Doctors said because the virus increases the risk of blood clots, it makes sense that aspirin would help infected patients.
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Dr. Jonathan Chow is an Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
"When you have a disease like COVID that leads to increased formation of blood clots, and then you have a medication like aspirin which thins your blood and prevents those blood clots from forming, it makes clinical sense that it would work," Dr. Chow said.
Dr. Chow said the study involved looking through medical records of over 400 COVID-19 patients who were admitted to the hospital in spring and summer.
Aspirin tablets would be the first widely available, over-the-counter drug to reduce death in COVID-19 patients if the study's findings are confirmed.
But doctors said that doesn't mean people should go out and just start buying aspirin.
"That is not what we are suggesting," Dr. Chow said. "We advise that patients go to their primary care doctor because they are the ones that are qualified to determine the risks and benefits of this drug."
He added that researchers are cautiously optimistic about the findings of this study, but they still need to finish a randomized control trial to prove that aspirin decreases death in COVID-19 patients.
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