HealthDay News — Individuals using anticoagulation therapy on an outpatient basis who are diagnosed with COVID-19 have a reduced risk for hospital admission, according to a study published online September 24 in EClinicalMedicine.

Sameh M. Hozayen, MD, from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues examined patients older than 18 years of age diagnosed with COVID-19 from March 4 to August 27, 2020, at 12 hospitals and 60 clinics. The associations between prior outpatient anticoagulation therapy and hospital admission and mortality risks, and between anticoagulation therapy before or after COVID-19 hospitalization and mortality, were examined.

The researchers found that 598 of the 6195 patients were immediately hospitalized and 5597 were treated as outpatients. There were 175 deaths, for an overall case-fatality rate of 2.8%. Inpatient mortality was 13% among the patients who were hospitalized. Of the outpatients, 2.9% were on anticoagulation and 5.9% were eventually hospitalized. Outpatient anticoagulant use was associated with a reduction in the risk for hospital admission in a multivariable analysis (hazard ratio, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.38 to 0.86; P =.007), while there was no association with mortality (hazard ratio, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.50 to 1.52; P =.64). Increased mortality risk was seen for inpatients who were not on anticoagulation (before or after hospitalization; hazard ratio, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.17 to 4.37; P =.015).

“By increasing adherence for people already prescribed blood thinners, we can potentially reduce the bad effects of COVID-19,” Hozayen said in a statement.

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