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HCQ study #80 of 255
7/7 Late treatment study
An et al., medRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.07.04.20146548 (Preprint)
Treatment Response to Hydroxychloroquine and Antibiotics for mild to moderate COVID-19: a retrospective cohort study from South Korea
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Retrospective of hospitalized patients with 31 HCQ patients and 195 standard treatment patients, not showing a significant difference in terms of viral clearance or recovery. There was no mortality in either group.
"It is notable that HQ plus antibiotics group had worse baseline clinical profiles (i.e. higher percentage of moderate severity patients, more patients with fever >=37.5C, higher average body temperature) and prognostic indicators such as age, LDH, lymphocyte count, and CRP".
We note that propensity score matching removed almost all of the male patients in the control group (40% -> 5%) but increased the percentage of male patients in the treatment group. This provides a large advantage to the control group because there is a very large difference in severity and mortality based on gender [1].
In terms of viral RNA clearance we note that other research has found that "active viral replication drops quickly after the first week, and viable virus was not found after the second week of illness despite the persistence of PCR detection of RNA” [2].

An et al., 7/7/2020, retrospective, South Korea, Asia, preprint, 12 authors.
time to viral clearance, 3.0% lower, RR 0.97, p = 0.92, treatment 31, control 195.

Effect extraction follows pre-specified rules prioritizing more serious outcomes. For an individual study the most serious outcome may have a smaller number of events and lower statistical signficance, however this provides the strongest evidence for the most serious outcomes when combining the results of many trials.
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