The international study included participants at 177 hospitals in the UK, as well as hospitals in Indonesia and Nepal. The study investigated the impact of 150 mg of aspirin per day in addition to the usual standards of care in the treatment of patients who had tested positive for COVID-19.
The nearly five-month study involved more than 22,000 patients.
“In patients hospitalised with COVID-19, aspirin was not associated with reductions in 28 day mortality or in the risk of progressing to invasive mechanical ventilation or death, but was associated with a small increase in the rate of being discharged alive within 28 days,” the RECOVERY Collaborative Group study reported.
The trial only studied hospitalized patients, however, limiting the evidence. The group noted, “Further studies to identify the safety and efficacy of aspirin in patients with COVID-19 who are not hospitalised are needed and are ongoing.”
The summary also concluded, “the results of this large, randomised trial do not support the addition of aspirin to standard thromboprophylaxis or therapeutic anticoagulation in patients hospitalised with COVID-19.”
The study may seem to appear at odds with previous research regarding aspirin and COVID-19. However, past claims of aspirin’s impact on the virus may be missing important context.
The Associated Press study of the claim last month found, “New draft guidance from a federal panel concerns whether adults over 40 should take aspirin daily to prevent having a first heart attack or stroke.”
Its report added, “It is unrelated to COVID-19. Scientists are still researching whether aspirin may benefit some COVID-19 patients.”
Though aspirin has not been proven to speed the recovery of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, other research has suggested regular use of aspirin may help lower the odds of contracting the virus.
In March, an Israeli study noted a daily dose of 75 mg of aspirin could play a role in reducing susceptibility to COVID-19.
“This observation of the possible beneficial effect of low doses of aspirin on COVID-19 infection is preliminary but seems very promising,” Magen said in a news release from Bar-Ilan University.
Aspirin has long been used as an anti-inflammatory. Researchers have also observed aspirin was used by many during the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic.
However, such studies remain preliminary and more research is necessary, according to those involved in the research.
Medical experts continue to state that vaccination remains the best defense against contracting COVID-19. In addition, good health practices, along with regular hand washing and social distancing, are also recommended.