The Association of Low Molecular Weight Heparin Use and In-hospital Mortality Among Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19

Lan Shen, Lin Qiu, Dong Liu, Li Wang, Hengye Huang, Heng Ge, Ying Xiao, Yi Liu, Jingjin Jin, Xiulan Liu, Dao Wen Wang, Eric D. Peterson, Ben He, Ning Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the association between low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) use and mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of patients consecutively enrolled from two major academic hospitals exclusively for COVID-19 in Wuhan, China, from January 26, 2020, to March 26, 2020. The primary outcome was adjusted in-hospital mortality in the LMWH group compared with the non-LMWH group using the propensity score. Results: Overall, 525 patients with COVID-19 enrolled with a median age of 64 years (IQR 19), and 49.33% men. Among these, 120 (22.86%) were treated with LMWH. Compared with the non-LMWH group, the LMWH group was more likely to be older and male; had a history of hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD), or stroke; and had more severe COVID-19 parameters such as higher inflammatory cytokines or D-dimer. Compared with non-LMWH group, LMWH group had a higher unadjusted in-hospital mortality rate (21.70% vs. 11.10%; p = 0.004), but a lower adjusted mortality risk (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 0.20; 95% CI, 0.09–0.46). A propensity score-weighting analysis demonstrated similar findings (adjusted OR, 0.18; 95% CI, 0.10–0.30). Subgroup analysis showed a significant survival benefit among those who were severely (adjusted OR, 0.07; 95% CI, 0.02–0.23) and critically ill (adjusted OR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.15–0.65), as well as among the elderly patients’ age > 65, IL-6 > 10 times upper limit level, and D-dimer > 5 times upper limit level. Conclusions: Among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, LMWH use was associated with lower all-cause in-hospital mortality than non-LMWH users. The survival benefit was particularly significant among more severely ill patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • In-hospital mortality
  • LMWH

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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