That was great news, but those findings created a conundrum for Angus and other researchers who were running their own studies of steroids in COVID-19 patients.
Of the 1,703 participants involved in the trials, 647 people died, but mortality was lower among patients who received steroids compared to those that received a placebo.
Overall, these drugs reduced 28-day mortality by a relative 34% compared with controls (fixed-effects OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.53-0.82) with little inconsistency between the trial results, reported Jonathan Sterne, PhD, of the University of Bristol in England, and colleagues.
The Chhattisgarh government has fixed the cost of COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals in the wake of a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in the state, an official said on Sunday.
"The studies published today show that we now have more than one choice of treatment for those who need it most", professor Anthony Gordon of Imperial College London, study lead, said.
Stay safe, wear mask during sex
She says it might be worth taking a precaution like this in NSW but the risks in other states, she says, are "incredibly low". This includes having underlying conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity or being immunocompromised.
The panel recommended that providers administer the steroids to critically ill Covid-19 patients for a course of seven to 10 days. Lung inflammation is a major issue among patients with serious COVID-19 cases, often requiring oxygen support to counter the resulting breathing difficulties. Gordon said that the results were "clear evidence" that steroids help the most severely ill patients. World Health Organization also warned against "indiscriminate use" of any anti-COVID-19 therapeutic, including steroids, for fear of creating global shortages. These tests conducted in 88 British hospitals have demonstrated the effectiveness of hydrocortisone, which would save around 1 in 12 patients.
"Our results suggest that the treatment effect of hydrocortisone is similar to that achieved with dexamethasone", study leader Professor Steve Webb from Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
A different study, called the RECOVERY trial, showed that another type of steroid, called dexamethasone, helped improve the recovery of patients with COVID-19.
The new meta-analysis reviewed data from this and two other trials of dexamethasone, plus three trials of hydrocortisone and one small study of methylprednisolone. According to World Health Organization, the difference in absolute mortality between the group of patients who received steroids and the groups who did not represented a 34% reduction in the risk of death among patients who were treated with steroids, which is a statistically significant finding.
In an accompanying editorial, Hallie Prescott, MD, of the University of MI in Ann Arbor, and Todd Rice, MD, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, argued that this difference could be explained by the early halt to the trial leaving it "underpowered to adequately evaluate the effect of corticosteroids on mortality". Researchers from three research groups have now published the findings they had gathered in the journal JAMA.