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In Frontiers in pharmacology

Introduction: Whether aspirin or other antiplatelet drugs can reduce mortality among patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) remains controversial. Methods: We identified randomized controlled trials, prospective cohort studies, and retrospective studies on associations between aspirin or other antiplatelet drug use and all-cause mortality among patients with COVID-19 in the PubMed database between March 2019 and September 2021. Newcastle-Ottawa Scale and Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool were used to assess the risk of bias. The I2 statistic was used to assess inconsistency among trial results. The summary risk ratio (RR) and odds ratio (OR) were obtained through the meta-analysis. Results: The 34 included studies comprised three randomized controlled trials, 27 retrospective studies, and 4 prospective cohort studies. The retrospective and prospective cohort studies showed low-to-moderate risks of bias per the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale score, while the randomized controlled trials showed low-to-high risks of bias per the Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment Tool. The randomized controlled trials showed no significant effect of aspirin use on all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19 {risk ratio (RR), 0.96 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.90-1.03]}. In retrospective studies, aspirin reduced all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19 by 20% [odds ratio (OR), 0.80 (95% CI 0.70-0.93)], while other antiplatelet drugs had no significant effects. In prospective cohort studies, aspirin decreased all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19 by 15% [OR, 0.85 (95% CI 0.80-0.90)]. Conclusion: The administration of aspirin may reduce all-cause mortality in patients with COVID-19.

Su Wanting, Miao He, Guo Zhaotian, Chen Qianhui, Huang Tao, Ding Renyu


COVID-19, antiplatelet drug, aspirin, meta-analysis, mortality