[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly clear
Mostly clear
62°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
July 1
1808 - Ygnacio del Valle born in Jalisco, Mexico; owned most of SCV [story]
Ygnacio del Valle


WASHINGTON — The largest study so far on using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 was published Friday in the Lancet: It found that patients showed no benefit and, worse, were more likely to die or develop an irregular heartbeat.

Funded by the William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the study involved 81,144 patients in the control group and 14,888 people in a treatment group. Most of the treatment group received hydroxychloroquine, either alone or with an antibiotic. Just over a third were treated with the related antimalarial drug chloroquine, either by itself or with an antibiotic.

Counting 10,698 deaths total, the study determined that “mortality was higher in the treatment groups compared with the control population.”

All combinations of protocols resulted in higher risk of death in the hospital or development of heart arrhythmia. Some 671 hospitals were included in the study, with data culled from six continents, covering patients who were hospitalized from mid-December to mid-April.

“Although generally safe when used for approved indications such as autoimmune disease or malaria, the safety and benefit of these treatment regiments are poorly evaluated in COVID-19,” according to the study, whose lead author is Dr. Mandeep Mehra, a heart specialist.

President Donald Trump, one of the more visible proponents of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, has yet to tweet any response. Just days earlier, he claimed during a press conference at the White House that he was taking the drug for “a couple of weeks,” despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration suggesting high risk of mortality or irregular heartbeat when consumed outside of an approved medical or clinical setting.

A memo from White House physician Sean Conley was released the same day stating that he and the president had “numerous discussions” regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine and concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks. The memo did not state unequivocally that the president was currently on the regimen.

The 73-year-old president told reporters Tuesday, however, that he expected to finish taking the drug by Thursday.

“I’m not going to get hurt by it. It’s been around for 40 years for malaria and for lupus. I’m taking the two, the zinc and the hydroxy. So far I seem to be OK,” Trump said earlier this week.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.

The Lancet study considered factors such as a patient’s pre-existing health conditions like underlying lung disease and diabetes, as well as other issues like age, sex, race and even weight.

Last month, the American Heart Association, the American College of Cardiology and the Heart Rhythm Society issued guidance warning that the anti-malarial drug had serious implications for those patients who had underlying heart conditions.

That outlook has not changed, Mariell Jessup, chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association, told Courthouse News.

“Mehra et al. observed increased risk of atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia and a greater hazard for death among patients treated with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine,” Jessup said, referring to the Brigham Young heart specialist behind Friday’s study in Lancet.

“These medications have increased cardiovascular toxicity, should not be administered outside of a clinical trial, and require close additional cardiovascular monitoring and treatment, as stated in our April 8 guidance,” Jessup continued.

As opposed to a randomized clinical trial, Friday’s study is observational — a term that the National Center for Biotechnology defines as those “in which the investigator makes no intervention and patients are allocated treatment based on clinical decisions.”

The center considers randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials the gold standard for testing drug efficacy and risk, but says an observational study can be significantly useful when performed under rigorous standards.

“This study provides real-world evidence on the use of these therapeutic regiments by including a large number of patients from across the world. Thus, to our knowledge, these findings provide the most comprehensive evidence of the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine (with or without a macrolide) for treatment of COVID-19,” the study in the Lancet concludes, using alternate terminology for an antibiotic.

Last month, researchers in Brazil published in the medical network JAMA that, of 81 patients ingesting chloroquine, those who took higher doses of the drug were roughly three times more like to die than those who took a smaller dose.

Frank Ruschitzka, who co-authored the Lancet study, said in a statement Friday that justifications for repurposing the antimalarial drug as a treatment for the novel coronavirus were based on a small number of anecdotal experiences.

“However, we now know from our study that the chance that these medications improve outcomes in Covid-19 is quite low,” said Ruschitzka, who is with the University Heart Center at University Hospital Zurich.

Since the novel coronavirus sprang up in Wuhan, China, last year, it has infected more than 5 million people worldwide. A case tracker at Johns Hopkins University says the United States leads the globe in confirmed deaths at 94,702. Though leading in deaths, the United States has the lowest mortality rate (6%) of the countries in the top 10. The United Kingdom, where 36,124 have died as of Friday, has a death rate of 14.3%.

— By Brandi Buchman

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

2 Comments

  1. With Trump taking hydroxychloroquine, what are the odds he will end up having a heart issue? That is if he is telling the truth that he is taking it! Or was him telling the AMERICAN people he was using that drug a ploy to make him more money because he has stock or something in that manufacturing company overseas?

  2. AndrewW says:

    Very misleading propaganda. HXQ is a prophylactic treatment and NOBODY ever said it was a cure. It has protected many people.

    This story is similar to reporting “new cases,” which is mostly useless information. Deaths-per-capita give us a better view of risk.

    Some partisan, idiot so-called “journalists” want to blame Trump for anything and everything. It’s childish and very silly.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: 32nd SCV Death; 3,206 Total SCV Cases
Continuing to see steep increases in community spread of COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed 2,002 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 new deaths due to the virus countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 14 fatality, bringing the Santa Clarita Valley's toll to 32 people.
Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020
L.A. County Halts Indoor On-Site Dining, Other Indoor Activities
The Los Angeles County Health Officer Order was modified Wednesday to align with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new directives as the COVID-19 pandemic surges in many areas of California including L.A. County, according to county Public Health officials.
Wednesday, Jul 1, 2020
Brush Fire Breaks Out in Agua Dulce, Spreads to 600-Plus Acres
A 150- to 200-acre brush fire broke out in Agua Dulce on Wednesday afternoon on the 11110 block of West Mint Canyon Road.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Continuing to see steep increases in community spread of COVID-19, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed 2,002 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 new deaths due to the virus countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 14 fatality, bringing the Santa Clarita Valley's toll to 32 people.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: 32nd SCV Death; 3,206 Total SCV Cases
Registered voters in the city of Santa Clarita will have the opportunity to elect two members of the five-member City Council for a term of four years each on November 3 in the city's 2020 General Municipal Election, consolidated with the Los Angeles County Statewide General Election.
July 13: Filing Period to Open for Santa Clarita City Council Candidates
The Los Angeles County Health Officer Order was modified Wednesday to align with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new directives as the COVID-19 pandemic surges in many areas of California including L.A. County, according to county Public Health officials.
L.A. County Halts Indoor On-Site Dining, Other Indoor Activities
A 150- to 200-acre brush fire broke out in Agua Dulce on Wednesday afternoon on the 11110 block of West Mint Canyon Road.
Brush Fire Breaks Out in Agua Dulce, Spreads to 600-Plus Acres
California will shut down indoor services at restaurants and wineries and order movie theaters, zoos and museums to bar indoor operations in 19 counties including Los Angeles that have seen a surge in novel coronavirus infections, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday
California Orders Halt to Indoor Services, Operations in 19 Virus Hotspots
July is filled with warm, sunny days and one of the city of Santa Clarita’s favorite holidays - the Fourth of July.
Mayor Smyth’s July Message: A Salute to Our Hometown Heroes
Most of the Santa Clarita Valley school districts are working on a “blended” learning model for the coming school year, meaning there will be options for students to spend some days on campus and other days distance learning, officials said Tuesday.
SCV School Districts Moving Toward Blended Models of Learning for Fall 2020
A narcotics sweep conducted Tuesday in Saugus ended in five arrests and a seizure of heroin that was suspected to be sold.
5 Suspects Arrested, Heroin Seized in Saugus Parolee Check
As the COVID-19 pandemic surges in California, Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Tuesday extending authorization for local governments to halt renter evictions through September 30.
Newsom OK’s Local Extension of Renter Evictions Moratorium to Sept. 30
Governor Gavin Newsom visited a Project Roomkey motel in Northern California Tuesday to launch Homekey, the next phase in the state’s effort to protect vulnerable homeless Californians from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Newsom Launches ‘Homekey’ in COVID-19 Response to Protect Homeless Californians
Once lauded as the exemplar when it comes to wearing masks and flattening the coronavirus curve, California is in the throes of a rapidly expanding pandemic after relaxing many of the stay-at-home provisions.
Face Masks in the Summer of California’s Discontent
1808 - Ygnacio del Valle born in Jalisco, Mexico; owned most of SCV [story]
Ygnacio del Valle
Attempting to care for mental health problems, homelessness, and other social ills should not be placed in the realm of law enforcement.
A Little Girl’s Cry | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
On Monday, June 29, 2020, a press release was issued from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announcing that all fireworks displays in the county are prohibited this Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Santa Clarita’s Fireworks Display Canceled After L.A. County Modified Order
College of the Canyons hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker Bradley Brown has signed with Northern Arizona University, the latest member of the Cougars' 2019 defensive unit to move on to a four-year program.
COC’s Bradley Brown Headed to Northern Arizona University
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 2,779 new cases of COVID-19 and 45 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with a total of 3,185 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
County Sees 3rd Straight Day of New Cases Over 2,100; 3,185 Cases in SCV
Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters extinguished a brush fire in Newhall near Interstate 5 on Tuesday afternoon.
Fire Near Calgrove Boulevard, I-5 Held to 7 Acres
(CN) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has inked his signature on a $202 billion budget deal that plucks billions from the state’s rainy-day fund, cuts state workers’ pay and freezes business tax breaks to close a record $54 billion budget gap.
Newsom Signs $202 Billion State Budget
California State University, Northridge officials have released details for a primarily virtual fall semester, with a handful of graduate and undergraduate courses and labs being offered face-to-face. Named “CSUN as One,” CSUN launched a website for the campus’ fall 2020 instruction and operational plans.
CSUN Releases Fall Semester Plans; Launches ‘CSUN as One’ Website
A woman suspected of driving under the influence and two passengers were taken to the hospital after a vehicle crashed and fell on its side in Newhall early Tuesday morning.
Newhall Crash Leaves 3 Injured
The County of Los Angeles, the city of Los Angeles, and philanthropy have partnered to deploy $3 million dollars in grants for small businesses, nonprofits and microentrepreneurs in a newly launched L.A. Regional COVID-19 Recovery Fund.
L.A. County, City Partner to Deploy $3M in Small Business, Nonprofit Grants
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) on authority from the California State Transportation Agency has entered into a lease agreement allowing XpressWest, a Brightline company, to use existing State right-of-way along Interstate 15 for high-speed passenger rail service between the town of Apple Valley (near Victorville) and Las Vegas.
Caltrans Enters Lease Agreement with XpressWest for High Speed Rail Between SoCal, Vegas
SACRAMENTO - Wherever people choose to observe Independence Day, they can expect the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to be out in force for a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 3, to midnight, Sunday, July 5.
CHP to Begin Maximum Enforcement Period Friday
SACRAMENTO — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is reaching out to more than 100 of California’s top private industry partners, businesses, and donors with a new call to action: contribute to a $500 million initiative that would provide computing and connectivity devices to all of California’s public school students in need.
State Schools Chief Looking to Close Digital Divide Among CA’s Students in Need
%d bloggers like this: