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Could Aspirin Make Your COPD Less Severe?

Recent studies suggest that people who take aspirin on a regular basis may have better COPD outcomes than people who do not use aspirin1. More study is certainly needed in this area. Still, I found these results to be intriguing. It’s also important to note that aspirin can have negative side effects. However, when used in low doses to control or prevent cardiovascular events, it is considered quite safe.

What the Study Entailed

Aspirin is well-known as a treatment for pain and for fever. But it is also used as an antiplatelet drug and in that capacity is used to prevent stroke and other circulatory disorders. Research has shown that there is also a potential benefit of antiplatelet therapy on chronic outcomes in patients with COPD1.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a review of the literature to look at this more closely1:

  • Examined records of more than 200,000 patients aged 40 and older who were hospitalized for an acute exacerbation of COPD.
  • Data from the State Inpatient Database (SID) of seven U.S. states was collected for the years 2012 and 2013.
  • 7% of those studied were using aspirin; aspirin users tended to be older and have other chronic illnesses.
  • Results were measured by looking at in-hospital mortality rate, mechanical ventilation use, and hospital length of stay.

Results of the Study

This is what the researchers found after examining this database of information:

  • Aspirin users had lower rates of death when hospitalized for COPD than non-aspirin users.
  • They also needed to be put on a ventilator less often.
  • Lastly, they needed to stay in the hospital, on average, one less day than non-aspirin users.

The researchers suggest that these improved outcomes could be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of aspirin. They went on to note that specific conclusions cannot be reached. However, it certainly seems wise to continue this area of study if it will lead to better COPD management.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Goto, T., Faridi, M. K., Camargo, C. A., & Hasegawa, K. (2018, February 21). The association of aspirin use with severity of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A retrospective cohort study. Retrieved from


  • Barbara Moore moderator
    10 months ago

    Thank you, Kathi MacNaughton. This is an interesting article because many of us feel that we are being over medicated and wonder why it is necessary to take these meds every day.
    You have cleared up one question for me.
    Barbara Moore (Site Moderator)

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