Study: Hydroxychloroquine decreased the COVID-19 mortality hazard ratio by 66 percent and the anti-malarial with the antibiotic azithromycin decreased the ratio by 71 percent, researchers said.
The study found 13 percent of those who received hydroxychloroquine alone died compared to 26.4 percent who didn’t receive the drug.
The vast majority of patients were given the drug within 48 hours of admission.
“Our analysis shows that using hydroxychloroquine helped saves lives,” neurosurgeon Dr. Steven Kalkanis, senior vice president and chief academic officer of the health system, said in a statement. “As doctors and scientists, we look to the data for insight. And the data here is clear that there was benefit to using the drug as a treatment for sick, hospitalized patients.”
Patients who received hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin also had a lower mortality than people who received neither, as did patients who received azithromycin.
“The findings have been highly analyzed and peer-reviewed,” added Dr. Marcus Zervos, division head of Infectious Disease for Henry Ford, who co-authored the study with epidemiologist Dr. Samia Arshad.
Researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of over 2,500 patients hospitalized between March 10 and May 2 in the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan. Over 2,000 of the patients were given hydroxychloroquine or the anti-malarial with azithromycin, an antibiotic.
None of the patients experienced side effects, researchers said, although patients who were monitored for a heart condition were recommended not to take the treatment.
The median age of patients was 64. The group was 51 percent male and 56 percent African-American.
The conclusions came from a peer-reviewed study that was published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Hydroxychloroquine and the closely related chloroquine have been closely scrutinized since President Donald Trump touted them earlier this year as potential treatments for COVID-19.
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