Purpose: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with hypercoagulability and increased thrombotic risk. The impact of prehospital antiplatelet therapy on in-hospital mortality is uncertain.
Methods: This was an observational cohort study of 34 675 patients ≥50 years old from 90 health systems in the United States. Patients were hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 between February 2020 and September 2020. For all patients, the propensity to receive prehospital antiplatelet therapy was calculated using demographics and comorbidities. Patients were matched based on propensity scores, and in-hospital mortality was compared between the antiplatelet and non-antiplatelet groups.
Results: The propensity score-matched cohort of 17 347 patients comprised of 6781 and 10 566 patients in the antiplatelet and non-antiplatelet therapy groups, respectively. In-hospital mortality was significantly lower in patients receiving prehospital antiplatelet therapy (18.9% vs. 21.5%, p < .001), resulting in a 2.6% absolute reduction in mortality (HR: 0.81, 95% CI: 0.76-0.87, p < .005). On average, 39 patients needed to be treated to prevent one in-hospital death. In the antiplatelet therapy group, there was a significantly lower rate of pulmonary embolism (2.2% vs. 3.0%, p = .002) and higher rate of epistaxis (0.9% vs. 0.4%, p < .001). There was no difference in the rate of other hemorrhagic or thrombotic complications.
Conclusions: In the largest observational study to date of prehospital antiplatelet therapy in patients with COVID-19, there was an association with significantly lower in-hospital mortality. Randomized controlled trials in diverse patient populations with high rates of baseline comorbidities are needed to determine the ultimate utility of antiplatelet therapy in COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antiplatelet therapy; aspirin; clopidogrel; dipyridamole; prasugrel; ticagrelor.
© 2021 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.