11/1 News Flash 3: Daily Low-Dose Aspirin Consumption May be Key in Managing Serious COVID-19 Complications

Graphic by Ishani Singh.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, daily use of low-dose aspirin has shown to significantly reduce the risk of complications and mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. 

Aspirin, a common over-the-counter drug used to relieve pain and reduce fever and inflammation, has blood thinning properties that help prevent blood clots. Patients with severe COVID-19 infections have an elevated risk for blood clots, which can lead to further complications such as heart attack, stroke, organ failure, and death. As a result, doctors may prescribe low-dose aspirin (typically eighty-one milligrams) to patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. 

After studying the medical data of 412 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, researchers found that patients taking aspirin daily were forty-four percent less likely to require mechanical ventilation, forty-three percent less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), and forty-seven percent less likely to die in the hospital compared to patients not taking a daily dosage of aspirin.  

Further studies are necessary to confirm these findings. If a randomized clinical trial produces results consistent with this study, aspirin will be the “first widely available, over-the-counter medication to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients,” explained lead researcher Jonathan Chow, MD.