The effect of current antithrombotic therapy on mortality in nursing home residents with COVID-19: a multicentre retrospective cohort study

Age Ageing. 2024 May 1;53(5):afae094. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afae094.


Background: The first wave of COVID led to an alarmingly high mortality rate among nursing home residents (NHRs). In hospitalised patients, the use of anticoagulants may be associated with a favourable prognosis. However, it is unknown whether the use of antithrombotic medication also protected NHRs from COVID-19-related mortality.

Objectives: To investigate the effect of current antithrombotic therapy in NHRs with COVID-19 on 30-day all-cause mortality during the first COVID-19 wave.

Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study linking electronic health records and pharmacy data in NHRs with COVID-19. A propensity score was used to match NHRs with current use of therapeutic dose anticoagulants to NHRs not using anticoagulant medication. The primary outcome was 30-day all-cause mortality, which was evaluated using a logistic regression model. In a secondary analysis, multivariable logistic regression was performed in the complete study group to compare NHRs with current use of therapeutic dose anticoagulants and those with current use of antiplatelet therapy to those without such medication.

Results: We included 3521 NHRs with COVID-19 based on a positive RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2 or with a well-defined clinical suspicion of COVID-19. In the matched propensity score analysis, NHRs with current use of therapeutic dose anticoagulants had a significantly lower all-cause mortality (OR = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.58-0.92) compared to NHRs who did not use therapeutic anticoagulants. In the secondary analysis, current use of therapeutic dose anticoagulants (OR: 0.62; 95% CI: 0.48-0.82) and current use of antiplatelet therapy (OR 0.80; 95% CI: 0.64-0.99) were both associated with decreased mortality.

Conclusions: During the first COVID-19 wave, therapeutic anticoagulation and antiplatelet use were associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality in NHRs. Whether these potentially protective effects are maintained in vaccinated patients or patients with other COVID-19 variants, remains unknown.

Keywords: COVID-19; anticoagulants; antiplatelets; antithrombotic medication; mortality; nursing home residents; older people.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticoagulants* / adverse effects
  • Anticoagulants* / therapeutic use
  • COVID-19* / mortality
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes* / statistics & numerical data
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2