Blood thinner drugs may help treat COVID-19, study confirms

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have shown that blood thinner therapy was linked to improved survival among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

But many questions remained—about the size of the potential benefit, and about what dosage of this therapy might be more effective.

In a recent study at Mount Sinai, researchers found new evidence that all regimens of anticoagulants—drugs that prevent blood clotting—were far superior to no blood thinners in COVID-19 patients.

More specifically, patients on both a “therapeutic” or full dose, and those on a “prophylactic” or lower dose, showed about a 50% higher chance of survival, and roughly a 30% lower chance of intubation, than those not on the drugs.

The study is published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. One author is Valentin Fuster, MD, Ph.D.

In the study, the researchers looked at six different blood thinner treatments, including both oral and intravenous dosing, within both full dose and lower dose groups.

They found three treatments— full and lower dose subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin, and full-dose oral apixaban showed strong effects.

The study provides additional insight into the role of anticoagulation in the management of patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19.

This study is an extension of previous research that showed that treatment with blood thinners was linked to improved outcomes both in and out of the intensive care unit among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The work was prompted by the discovery that many patients hospitalized with COVID-19 developed high levels of life-threatening blood clots.

The team says this study is much more in-depth than their previous brief report and includes many more patients, longer follow-up, and rigorous methodology.

Clearly, blood thinner is linked to improved outcomes and bleeding rates appear to be low.

They hope this work will lead to improved outcomes and treatment for COVID-19 patients.

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