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Do NSAIDs Increase the Risk of COVID-19?

Multiple reports raised concern that the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may increase the risk of acquiring COVID-19. This study was carried out to confirm the association of NSAIDs including aspirin with the risk of testing positive for COVID19. Cox proportional hazards regression method was used where regular NSAIDS users and non-users participated to determine the risk of COVID-19 among aspirin or non-aspirin NSAID users. The outcomes obtained confirmed that usage of aspirin and nonaspirin NSAIDs do not increase the risk of contracting COVID-19.

NSAIDs like aspirin are more likely used by patients with several comorbidities like heart disease, diabetes which are proven to increase the risk of testing positive for COVID19. The increased risk of COVID-19 is due to comorbidities and not aspirin. People taking aspirin had fewer symptoms overall, with 17.3% reporting at least one symptom compared to 22% of symptoms reported in non-users and 34.2% in non-aspirin NSAIDs. The initial analysis of anecdotal reports of a potentially harmful association of NSAID use with COVID-19 due to hypothesized upregulation of ACE2 receptor expression was likely related to confounding factors such as lifestyle, comorbidities, etc. 

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