Taking aspirin could reduce the risk of COVID-19 patients falling severely ill or dying, a new study suggests.
Researchers found a daily low-dose pill could lower the likelihood of needing a ventilator or being admitted to the ICU by more than 40 percent.
What's more, it cut the risk of death from the infection by nearly half compared to people who were not taking the medication.
The team, led by the George Washington University School of Medicine, in the District of Columbia, says the findings suggest aspiring could be a faster, easier, and cheaper treatment for patients than other commonly used medications.
'The reason why we started looking at aspirin and Covid is that in the spring we all realized that all these patients started to have a lot of thrombotic complications or a lot of blood clots that have formed throughout their bodies,' Dr. Jonathan Chow, assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, told CNN.
'That is why we thought that using an anti-platelet agent, or a blood thinner, like aspirin, might be helpful in Covid-19.'
The cheap over-the-counter drug is generally used for relieving minor aches and pains caused by headaches, muscle injuries, periods, colds, and arthritis.
It is also used as a blood thinner to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes among those with managing heart conditions.
Experts believe the ability of aspirin to prevent blood clotting may be beneficial to COVID-19 patients, who often experienced deadly blockages in arteries.
For the study, published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, the team looked at COVID-19 patients admitted to multiple hospitals in the U.S. between March 2020 and July 2020.
A total of 412 patients were included, of which 314 patients, 76.3 percent, did not receive aspirin.
The remaining 98 patients, 23.7 percent, received the drug within 24 hours of admission or seven days before admission.
Results showed that patients who took aspirin were 44 percent less likely to need mechanical ventilation, and 43 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU.
Also, those who had been given the drugs were 47 percent less likely to die from COVID-19 in the hospital.
'Aspirin use may be associated with improved outcomes in hospitalized COVID-19 patients,' the authors concluded.
'However, a sufficiently powered randomized controlled trial is needed to assess whether a causal relationship exists between aspirin use and reduced lung injury and mortality in COVID-19 patients.
This is not the only study to look at the link between the risk of severe disease and death in coronavirus patients and asthma.
One study found that 30,000 U.S. veterans who had coronavirus were 50 percent less likely to die if they were taking aspirin.
Another study found one tablet of aspirin every day can reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 by up to 29 percent.