Aspirin As Primary Prevention Strategy Investigated

No significant reduction in risk of stroke, mortality, or total coronary heart disease

FRIDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin may prevent the risk of total cardiovascular (CV) events and nonfatal myocardial infarctions (MI), but it does not significantly reduce the risk of stroke, CV mortality, all-cause mortality, or total coronary heart disease, according to a meta-analysis published in the June 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Alfred A. Bartolucci, Ph.D., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues investigated the benefits of aspirin in preventing CV events, using data from nine randomized trials comprising approximately 90,000 individuals divided evenly between those taking aspirin, and those not taking aspirin or taking a placebo. Six CV end points were assessed by meta-analysis: total coronary heart disease, nonfatal MI, total CV events, stroke, CV mortality, and all-cause mortality. Appropriate tests for treatment effect, heterogeneity, and study size bias were applied, with no adjustments for covariates.

The investigators found that aspirin had a significant role in decreasing total CV events and nonfatal MI, with nonsignificant results for reduced risk of stroke, CV mortality, and all-cause mortality. No evidence was found to indicate statistical bias.

"Primary prevention with aspirin decreased the risk for total CV events and nonfatal MI, but there were no significant differences in the incidences of stroke, CV mortality, all-cause mortality, and total coronary heart disease," the authors wrote.

The study was supported by an unrestricted research grant from Bayer HealthCare AG.

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