(Lake Success, NY. May 18, 2020) – Hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving hydroxychloroquine and/or azithromycin fared no better than patients receiving neither drug, according to a retrospective study of 1,438 patients just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
Undertaken by researchers at the University at Albany School of Public Health, the New York State Department of Health, IPRO and the Downstate Health Sciences University, the study examined mortality for patients treated at 25 New York metropolitan area hospitals. Overall in-hospital mortality was reported at 20.3%, with no significant benefit associated with either drug or when both drugs were administered together.
Researchers found cardiac arrest significantly more likely among patients receiving both drugs when compared to patients receiving neither drug. This increase risk was maintained after adjustment for level of illness upon hospital admission (among other factors).
“These findings, while limited by the observational nature of the study, contribute substantially to the literature that, taken as a whole, can inform decision making about the optimal use of COVID-19 therapies,” according to study co-author Patti Weinberg, P.A., M.P.S., IPRO Vice President, Medicaid/State Health Care Assessment Programs.
Authors also noted that they didn’t find disparities in prescribing of the drugs between white patients and minority patients, which they find “relevant given the population-level differences in COVID-19 deaths previously reported by race and ethnicity.”
The study “Association of Treatment with Hydroxychloroquine or Azithromycin with In-Hospital Mortality in Patients with COVID-19 in New York State” appears in the May 11 edition of JAMA, which is available at .