Simplified approach to aspirin for heart risk prevention

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Recommend aspirin for all high-risk patients without an increased risk of bleeding.

Low-dose aspirin safe for heart risk prevention
Low-dose aspirin safe for heart risk prevention

HealthDay News -- For patients at high cardiovascular risk, low-dose aspirin can be used as a primary prevention method, according to researchers.

“Although the use of oral anticoagulants (vitamin K antagonists) has been abandoned in primary cardiovascular prevention due to lack of a favorable benefit-to-risk ratio the indications for aspirin use in this setting continue to be a source of major debate, with major international guidelines providing conflicting recommendations,” wrote Sigrun Halvorsen, MD, of Oslo University Hospital Ulleval in Norway, and colleagues in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

A pragmatic approach should guide low-dose aspirin use in primary cardiovascular prevention, they asserted. The researchers suggested recommending aspirin for all patients at high cardiovascular risk -- defined as two or more major cardiovascular events projected per 100 person-years -- who are not at increased risk of bleeding.

"We recommend that aspirin use in the primary prevention of acute myocardial infarction and other atherothrombotic cardiovascular events in subjects of both sexes is guided by an assessment of the underlying cardiovascular risk," wrote the inspectors.


  1. Halvorsen S et al. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2014; doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.03.049

Disclosure: Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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