HealthDay News — For patients with first unprovoked venous thromboembolism (VTE), aspirin after anticoagulant treatment reduces the risk of recurrence, according to researchers.

To assess the effect of aspirin versus placebo on major vascular events (recurrent VTE, myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular disease death) and bleeding, John Simes, MD, of the University of Sydney, and colleagues analyzed patient data from 1,224 participants. Their findings were published in Circulation.

Recurrent VTE was found in 193 of the 1,224 patients over a median follow-up on 30.4 months, reported the investigators. There was a reduction in recurrent VTE with aspirin (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% CI: 0.47-0.92; P=0.01) and pulmonary embolism (HR, 0.66; 95% CI: 0.41-1.06; P=0.08). 

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There was also a reduction in major vascular events with aspirin (HR, 0.66; 95% CI: 0.50- 0.86; P=0.002). There was a low major bleeding rate (0.5% and 0.4% per year for aspirin and placebo, respectively). Recurrent VTE was reduced after adjustment for treatment adherence (HR, 0.58; P=0.005). Similar relative, but larger absolute risk reductions were seen in men and older patients.

“Aspirin after anticoagulant treatment reduces the overall risk of recurrence by more than a third in a broad cross-section of patients with a first unprovoked VTE,” wrote the researchers.


  1. Simes J et al. Circulation. 2014; doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.008828

Disclosures: The trials were partially funded by Bayer HealthCare, which provided the aspirin and placebo for both trials.