HealthDay News — Twenty-eight days of aspirin is non-inferior to and as safe as dalteparin, a low-molecular-weight heparin, for preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE) after total hip arthroplasty, study findings show.

David R. Anderson, MD, of Capital Health in Halifax, Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 786 patients who had elective unilateral total hip arthroplasty followed by 10 days of dalteparin prophylaxis to receive 28 days of extended prophylaxis with either dalteparin (400 patients) or aspirin (386 patients).

Patients were enrolled from 12 tertiary care orthopedic referral centers in Canada and underwent the procedure between 2007 and 2010. Findings were published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

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VTE occured in 1.3% of patients receiving dalteparin and 0.3% of patients receiving aspirin. Aspirin therapy was non-inferior (P<0.001), but not superior (P=0.22), to dalteparin therapy for VTE prophylaxis, the researchers found.

There was no significant difference between the groups in bleeding episodes. Because of slow enrollment, the study was terminated prematurely.

“In summary, our study suggests that aspirin is an effective, safe, convenient and inexpensive alternative to low-molecular-weight heparin for extended thromboprophylaxis after total hip arthroplasty,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Anderson DR et al. Ann Intern Med. 2013;158(11):800-806.