If you’re one of the 29 million Americans who take a daily low-dose aspirin, here’s good news…
Aspirin is a blood thinner. It can help prevent blood clots. Most people take daily aspirin do so to prevent a heart attack or stroke, which are often triggered by clots.
But researchers at the University of Maryland found an important added benefit.
Among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, taking daily aspirin was associated with a:
- 44% lower risk of being put on a ventilator
- 43% lower risk of being put in intensive care
- 47% lower risk of death
The study included 412 COVID-19 patients in four different hospitals on the East Coast. All patients were over 55.
The aspirin users took a dose of 81 mg a day. This is the standard dosage for someone taking aspirin for heart health. They took aspirin as part of their daily routine before they got sick with COVID and continued to do so after they went into the hospital.
One of the World’s Oldest Drugs May Combat Its Newest Health Scourge
Dr. Michael A. Mazzeffi co-authored the study. He said aspirin may help COVID patients the same way it prevents heart attacks, by thinning the blood. Small blood clots can form in the lungs, heart, and other organs of coronavirus patients, worsening the disease.
“We believe that the blood-thinning effects of aspirin provide benefits for COVID-19 patients by preventing micro-clot formation,” Dr. Mazzeffi said.
Autopsies have found that patients who died of COVID often had blood clotting in many organs. A study published in The Lancet: Microbe examined 10 deceased coronavirus patients. It found that nine of them had at least one blood clot in a major organ such as the lungs, heart, or kidneys.
Some doctors have had success treating COVID-19 patients with powerful blood-thinning drugs such as heparin. These are usually given by injection and can have severe side effects, including serious bleeding. 
The new study offers hope that aspirin may be a safer alternative. Dr. Jonathan Chow led the study. “If our finding is confirmed, it would make aspirin the first widely available, over-the-counter medication to reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients,” he said.
Aspirin is one of the world’s oldest and most-researched drugs. It was first used as a medicine by the ancient Egyptians. Today, between 700 to 1,000 clinical trials are conducted every year to examine aspirin’s effects.
Aspirin is generally considered safe. But you may not be able to take daily aspirin if you are at increased risk for bleeding due to ulcers or being on blood-thinning drugs.
“The good thing about aspirin is that it’s one of the best-studied drugs in the history of the earth,” Dr. Mazzeffi said. “We know it’s not safe for everyone, but it’s taken by literally hundreds of millions of patients, and it has a great safety profile.
“Patients diagnosed with COVID-19 may want to consider taking a daily aspirin as long as they check with their doctor first.”
Editor’s Note: Read our monthly newsletter Independent Healing to discover the most-effective, science-backed strategies to stay healthy during the pandemic.
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