A meta-analysis (“pooled” study of all available clinical trial about a topic) published in September 2020 in one of the most prestigious medical journals (JAMA) shows that cortisone given to the sickest patients with Covid-19 (hospitalized patients, with the distress respiratory syndrome) improves survival in these patients.

In total, 7 clinical trials were pooled in this meta-analysis, including 1703 patients (median age 60 [52-68] years). In these patients with the most severe forms of the Covid-19, corticosteroids prescription reduced mortality by more than 30% during the following month compared to usual care alone (i.e., without corticosteroids) or placebo.

The WHO therefore issued a “strong recommendation” for the use of corticosteroids in patients suffering from severe or very severe forms of Covid-19.

In contrast, the use of corticosteroids in patients with mild forms of Covid-19 should be avoided as it could worsen the disease, althought this is not yet certain.

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