HealthDay News — Direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) use is not associated with a reduction in the risk for severe COVID-19, according to a study published online December 1 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Benjamin Flam, MD, from the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, and colleagues examined whether ongoing DOAC use was associated with a reduced risk for hospital admission for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in a nationwide register-based cohort study in Sweden in February through May 2020.

The researchers observed no association for DOAC use with a reduced risk for hospital admission for COVID-19 compared with nonuse in a comparator group of patients with atrial fibrillation (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.00; 95% confidence interval, 0.75 to 1.33) and in a comparator group of patients with cardiovascular disease (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.94; 95% confidence interval, 0.80 to 1.10). In addition, no association was seen for DOAC use with intensive care unit admission or death due to COVID-19 (adjusted hazard ratios, 0.76 [95% confidence interval, 0.51 to 1.12] and 0.90 [95% confidence interval, 0.71 to 1.15], respectively).

“Our findings suggest that early DOAC treatment doesn’t protect against severe COVID-19, but these should be treated with caution since there might remain differences between the groups that are difficult to measure,” Flam said in a statement. “Also, our study says nothing about whether other types of anticoagulants could be effective, but a good many clinical studies are being done around the world.”


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The study was funded by Janssen Corporation.

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