Severe patients with COVID-19 have a very high risk of blood clots in their veins or arteries. These pathologies more often develop in severe COVID-19, especially in patients at risk. Since anticoagulants are potentially dangerous due to an increased risk of bleeding, in most guidelines, including WHO, they are not recommended for outpatient treatment without indications and medical supervision.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine decided to find out if taking anticoagulants regularly before contracting the coronavirus can increase the chances of recovery in those patients who require these drugs according to indications. For example, elderly people, after a heart attack or stroke, malignant tumors, thrombophilia, taking hormone replacement therapy, etc.
Scientists analyzed data from about 6.2 thousand adult patients with COVID-19, of which 598 were immediately hospitalized. In this cohort, 160 people regularly took anticoagulants prior to infection.
The results showed that the use of anticoagulants in the outpatient setting was associated with a 43% reduction in the risk of hospitalization. The likelihood of being admitted to hospital was reduced even in those patients who were older and had chronic illnesses compared to other study participants who required hospital treatment.
“Blood thinners, whether they were used before COVID-19 infection or started on admission to the hospital, almost halved mortality,” the study authors said.
Scientists also noted that about half of patients who are prescribed blood thinners for various reasons do not take them. Given that people with bleeding disorders are particularly vulnerable to severe complications from the coronavirus, they should remember that anticoagulants can literally save their lives, experts say.