New studies confirm that multiple types of steroids improve survival for severely ill COVID-19 patients, cementing the cheap drugs as a standard of careBy MARILYNN MARCHIONE AP Chief Medical WriterSeptember 2, 2020, 3:32 PM• 3 min readNew studies confirm that multiple types of steroids improve survival for severely ill COVID-19 patients, cementing the cheap drugs as a standard of care.An analysis of pooled results from seven studies, led by the World Health Organization and published Wednesday by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that steroids reduced the risk of death in the first month by about one-third compared to placebo treatment or usual care alone in these seriously ill patients who needed extra oxygen.“This result opens up more choices” of steroids, said Dr. Martin Landray of the University of Oxford, who led one of the studies. “The more options there are in terms of availability, the better.”Dr. Anthony Gordon of Imperial College London called the result “a huge step forward,” but added, “as impressive as these results are, it’s not a cure.”Steroid drugs are inexpensive, widely available and have been used for decades. They reduce inflammation, which sometimes develops in coronavirus patients as the immune system overreacts to


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