Prophylactic anticoagulation with low molecular weight heparin in COVID-19: cohort studies in Denmark and Sweden

Lars Christian Lund, Pontus Hedberg, Anne Helms Andreasen, Janne Petersen, Tonny Studsgaard Petersen, Anton Pottegård, Jacob Bodilsen, Pontus Naucler, Jesper Hallas, Espen Jimenez-Solem

2 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate safety and effectiveness of prophylactic anticoagulation with low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) in individuals hospitalised for COVID-19.

METHODS: Using healthcare records from the Capital Region of Denmark (March 2020-February 2021) and Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden (February 2020-September 2021), we conducted an observational cohort study comparing clinical outcomes 30 days after admission among individuals hospitalised for COVID-19 starting prophylactic LMWH during the first 48 hours of hospitalisation with outcomes among those not receiving prophylactic anticoagulation. We used inverse probability weighting to adjust for confounders and bias due to missing information. Risk ratios, risk differences and robust 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using binomial regression. Country-specific risk ratios were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis.

RESULTS: We included 1692 and 1868 individuals in the Danish and Swedish cohorts. Of these, 771 (46%) and 1167 (62%) received prophylactic LMWH up to 48 hours after admission. The combined mortality in Denmark and Sweden was 12% (N = 432) and the pooled risk ratio was 0.91 (CI 0.60-1.38) comparing individuals who received LMWH to those who did not. The relative risk of ICU admission was 1.12 (0.76-1.66), while we observed no increased risk of bleeding 0.63 (0.13-2.94). The relative risk of venous thromboembolism was 0.80 (0.43-1.47).

CONCLUSION: We found no benefit on mortality with prophylactic LMWH and no increased risk of bleeding among COVID-19 patients receiving prophylactic LMWH.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1291.e1-1291.e5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022


  • Anticoagulants/adverse effects
  • COVID-19/drug therapy
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Hemorrhage
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Sweden/epidemiology


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