Assessing the risk/benefit profile before recommending aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular events

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States
The American Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 5). 11/2004; 117(7):528-30. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2004.07.037
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Aspirin use for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease should be targeted to patients with a high cardiovascular risk. Physicians should assess the risks and benefits of aspirin therapy for primary prevention and incorporate patient preferences.
    Comprehensive Therapy 02/2005; 31(3):186-93. DOI:10.1385/COMP:31:3:186
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    ABSTRACT: Randomized trials have shown that low-dose aspirin decreases the risk of a first myocardial infarction in men, with little effect on the risk of ischemic stroke. There are few similar data in women. We randomly assigned 39,876 initially healthy women 45 years of age or older to receive 100 mg of aspirin on alternate days or placebo and then monitored them for 10 years for a first major cardiovascular event (i.e., nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes). During follow-up, 477 major cardiovascular events were confirmed in the aspirin group, as compared with 522 in the placebo group, for a nonsignificant reduction in risk with aspirin of 9 percent (relative risk, 0.91; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.80 to 1.03; P=0.13). With regard to individual end points, there was a 17 percent reduction in the risk of stroke in the aspirin group, as compared with the placebo group (relative risk, 0.83; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.69 to 0.99; P=0.04), owing to a 24 percent reduction in the risk of ischemic stroke (relative risk, 0.76; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.63 to 0.93; P=0.009) and a nonsignificant increase in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (relative risk, 1.24; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.82 to 1.87; P=0.31). As compared with placebo, aspirin had no significant effect on the risk of fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction (relative risk, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.25; P=0.83) or death from cardiovascular causes (relative risk, 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.22; P=0.68). Gastrointestinal bleeding requiring transfusion was more frequent in the aspirin group than in the placebo group (relative risk, 1.40; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.07 to 1.83; P=0.02). Subgroup analyses showed that aspirin significantly reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events, ischemic stroke, and myocardial infarction among women 65 years of age or older. In this large, primary-prevention trial among women, aspirin lowered the risk of stroke without affecting the risk of myocardial infarction or death from cardiovascular causes, leading to a nonsignificant finding with respect to the primary end point.
    New England Journal of Medicine 04/2005; 352(13):1293-304. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa050613 · 55.87 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aspirin for the primary prevention of coronary heart disease (has a more favorable risk/benefit profile among adults with high coronary heart disease risk than among low-risk adults, but there is little information on the current patterns of aspirin use for primary prevention. We determined the prevalence of aspirin use in relation to coronary heart disease risk and changes over time. We measured regular aspirin use in 2163 black and white older adults without cardiovascular disease in a population-based cohort from 1997 to 1998 and 2002 to 2003. We determined the 10-year coronary heart disease risk by using the Framingham risk score. In 1997-1998, 17% of the cohort were regular aspirin users. Aspirin use increased with coronary heart disease risk from 13% in persons with a 10-year risk less than 6% (low risk) to 23% in those with a 10-year risk greater than 20% (highest risk) (P for trend < .001). Blacks were less likely to use aspirin (13%) than whites (20%). In multivariate analysis, black race was still associated with lower aspirin use (odds ratio 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.49-0.89). In 1997-1998 and 2002 to 2003, aspirin use increased from 17% to 32% among those still free of coronary heart disease (P < .001), and the association with coronary heart disease risk continued (P for trend < .001). Despite their high coronary heart disease risk, diabetic persons were not more likely to use aspirin than nondiabetic persons, even in 2002 and 2003 (odds ratio 0.89, 95% confidence interval 0.56-1.40). Regular use of aspirin by older adults with no history of cardiovascular disease has increased in recent years. Individuals at higher coronary heart disease risk are more likely to take aspirin, but there is room for considerable improvement in targeting those at high risk, particularly diabetic persons and blacks.
    The American journal of medicine 11/2005; 118(11):1288. DOI:10.1016/j.amjmed.2005.06.020 · 5.00 Impact Factor
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