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Source: COVID-19 Pulmonary Embolism  May 21, 2020  8 days ago
COVID-19 Pulmonary Embolism: Study Shows Statins Help Obese COVID-19 Patients Who Have Higher Risk For Dangerous Lung Clots
COVID-19 Pulmonary Embolism: Study Shows Statins Help Obese COVID-19 Patients Who Have Higher Risk For Dangerous Lung Clots
Source: COVID-19 Pulmonary Embolism  May 21, 2020  8 days ago
COVID-19 Pulmonary Embolism: Medical researchers from the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit has found that obesity makes COVID-19 worse and may lead to deadly blood clots in the lungs while the usage of statins among such obese patients actually decreases the chances of them developing such clots.


 
The study team said that obese patients with COVID-19 may have nearly three times the risk of developing what is known as a pulmonary embolism.
 
The study was published in the journal Radiology.
https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/radiol.2020201955
 
Lead researcher Dr Neo Poyiadi, from the department of diagnostic radiology at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit told Thailand Medical News, "Clinicians can utilize our findings to aid in determining which patients should have evaluation for pulmonary embolism with pulmonary CT angiography, as the symptoms for COVID-19 and pulmonary embolism overlap."
 
He further added, "Early detection of pulmonary embolism can allow prompt treatment with anticoagulation and minimize clinical problems.”
 
The researchers suggest that hospitalized obese patients with COVID-19 should be evaluated for increases in clotting indicated by a rising D-dimer, a blood test for clotting.
 
It was observed that 22% of 328 patients suffering from COVID-19 who had a CT scan angiography had a pulmonary embolism.
 
The scientist also found that patients taking statins to lower cholesterol before coming down with COVID-19 were less likely to have a pulmonary embolism.
 
Dr Poyiadi added, "Further studies are needed to determine if statins have a protective effect against pulmonary embolism in COVID-19 patients."
 
He added that a recent study suggests that COVID-19 patients should be placed on blood thinners to prevent clotting.
 
According to the researchers obesity may make COVID-19 worse because it is associated with an increase in inflammation. Inflammation also increases the risk of clotting.
 
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"This study underscores a point that's becoming more widely known about COVID-19 ie that obesity leads to an inflammatory cascade. We know that inflammatory chemicals increase with obesity. That's the suspected mechanism of why obese patients are more at risk for complications." Said Dr Marc Siegel, a Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City who was not involved in the study.
 
He also noted that Inflammation can lead to blood clots, although that is not been proven.
 
He further added, "The complications of COVID-19 that are been seeing are inflammation and a cytokine storm, which causes inflammation in the arteries and blood clots throughout the body and obesity is a culprit in high-risk patients. To say that's why we are seeing more pulmonary embolism in obese patients is plausible. It is early small numbers, but it's a very important finding and it is not surprising.”
 
However what is surprising is it looks like using statins might be helpful. Statins are anti-inflammatories, he noted.
 
Furthermore whether statins are protective is something that would have to be carefully studied, he said. There's no clear-cut reason to start obese patients on statins if they weren't already taking them when they were admitted to the hospital.
 
Dr Siegel added that obese patients with COVID-19 need the same care as other patients and that includes anticoagulation. Many of the complications of COVID-19 seem to be caused by clotting, and starting patients on blood thinners may become a standard treatment.
 
He further added, "We're already starting to look at preventative anticoagulation. It is already something we are highly aware of, but this study adds evidence to a direct correlation between obesity and blood clots, that's what is new here."
 
For more on COVID-19 Pulmonary Embolism, keep logging to Thailand Medical News.
 
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