New study finds common aspirin could dramatically curb risks of COVID-19, by a lot

A newly published study found that one of the world’s most common over-the-counter drugs — aspirin — could significantly cut health risks associated with COVID-19.

Specifically, the Jerusalem Post reported, aspirin worked to “minimize the need for mechanical ventilation” by protecting the lungs of COVID patients, according to a study at George Washington University.

A research team studied more than 400 patients suffering from the virus in hospitals around the U.S. who were also taking aspirin for an unrelated medical condition. The researchers discovered that those taking the common household medication were at significantly less risk for several COVID-related factors including reducing mechanical ventilation by 44 percent, reducing admissions to an intensive care unit by 43 percent, and cutting in-hospital mortality by as much as 47 percent.

“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,” Dr. Jonathan Chow, one of the researchers, said. “Our research found an association between low-dose aspirin and decreased severity of COVID-19 and death.”

Doctors frequently instruct patients to take low doses of aspirin if they are prone to blood clots or otherwise in danger of strokes. In addition, patients who have suffered a heart attack or myocardial insult are also commonly prescribed low-dose aspirin.

And while COVID-19 most commonly affects the lungs, it has also been known to cause blood clots in small vessels that lead to a series of blockages of the pulmonary blood supply, which then leads to a condition known as acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS.

“Aspirin is low cost, easily accessible and millions are already using it to treat their health conditions. Finding this association is a huge win for those looking to reduce risk from some of the most devastating effects of COVID-19,” added Chow.

The Post noted that Israeli scientists produced similar results in a preliminary trial conducted at the Barzilai Medical Center in March. “In addition to its effect on blood clots, they found that aspirin carried immunological benefits and that the group taking it was 29% less likely to become infected with the virus in the first place,” the paper reported.

“This observation of the possible beneficial effect of low doses of aspirin on COVID-19 infection is preliminary but seems very promising,” Prof. Eli Magen of the Barzilai Medical Center, lead researcher in the study, noted in a press release.

In that study, researchers found that 29 percent of COVID patients who were already taking aspirin for other conditions were less likely to catch the virus at all.

In addition, the scientists found that patients taking aspirin and did catch the virus managed to recover two to three days faster than others sickened by COVID and who were not taking the common household drug. They also discovered that it took aspirin patients less time to test negative for COVID than non-aspirin patients.

The Israeli scientists said at the time that their findings warranted further study.

“The present study sought to better understand the potential favorable effects of aspirin in aiding the human immune system to battle COVID-19,” said Dr. Milana Frenkel-Morgenstern of the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine of Bar-Ilan University, the J-Post reported. “We intend to investigate a larger cohort of patients and in randomized clinical trials.”

Diana Ziklin, Berrent, founder of Survivor Corps, a group of COVID survivors who advocate for various treatments and policies regarding the virus, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s lead immunologist, did not recommend aspirin as a treatment.

“When I asked Dr. Fauci last October whether use of aspirin as a mild anticoagulant (if not contraindicated) at diagnosis would help he was vehement in his answer: no,” she wrote in a post last week.

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