1. Singh Joy, Subhashni D.


According to this study:


* Low-dose aspirin reduced the risk of stroke among women but didn't improve functional outcomes after stroke.



Article Content

As the U.S. population ages, the morbidity burden from stroke is going to grow. Researchers are scrambling to identify ways to lessen that burden. Aspirin, which is known to lower the risk of stroke, has been posited as a means of decreasing functional impairment after a stroke occurs. The researchers who conducted the Women's Health Study examined their data to determine the effects of low-dose aspirin on both the incidence of stroke and stroke morbidity.


A total of 39,876 female health care providers ages 45 years and older were randomized to receive 100 mg of aspirin every other day, 600 IU of vitamin E every other day, both aspirin and vitamin E, or placebo for both. Participants were healthy at baseline, with no history of cardiovascular events, cancer, or any other major illness.


After a mean 9.9 years of follow-up, there had been 460 occurrences of stroke, of which 366 were ischemic and 90 were hemorrhagic (four were of unknown type). In addition, 405 transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) occurred. The modified Rankin scale was used to assess poststroke disability.


Women who received low-dose aspirin had lower risks of stroke and TIA. Although there was a significant decrease in the risk of ischemic stroke, that wasn't the case for hemorrhagic stroke. No significant differences in poststroke functional ability were seen between the aspirin and placebo groups.


The authors point out that the study's results may not be generalizable to men. Although they note that noncompliance with the aspirin regimen might have been a study limitation, a sensitivity analysis including women who reported having taken two-thirds of their pills showed similar results.




Rist PM, et al. Stroke. 2013;44(2):432-6