President Donald Trump for months has been touting the benefits of taking hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19.
However, a massive new study published in the medical journal Lancet has found that treating COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine results in a “significantly higher risk of death.”
As the Washington Post reports, the study is based on examining health outcomes from 96,000 COVID-infected patients across the world.
And the study’s findings didn’t show just minor differences between patients who took hydroxychloroquine and those who didn’t.
“For those given hydroxychloroquine, there was a 34 percent increase in risk of mortality and a 137 percent increased risk of a serious heart arrhythmias,” the Post writes. “For those receiving hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic — the cocktail endorsed by Trump — there was a 45 percent increased risk of death and a 411 percent increased risk of serious heart arrhythmias.”
Although it is not a controlled study, its sample size is so large that many scientists say it should nonetheless be taken seriously.
“It’s one thing not to have benefit, but this shows distinct harm,” Eric Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, tells the Post. “If there was ever was hope for this drug, this is the death of it.”
And David Maron, director of preventive cardiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, tells the Post that the study provides “absolutely no reason for optimism that these drugs might be useful in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.”