Aspirin for Primary Prevention May Offer Net Benefit for Some

Subgroups with net benefit had higher baseline CVD risk, higher levels of most established CVD risk factors

MONDAY, Sept. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is likely to result in net benefit for some patients, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Vanessa Selak, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D., from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues conducted an individualized benefit-harm analysis to identify individuals without CVD for whom aspirin would probably result in a net benefit. Data were included for 245,028 persons aged 30 to 79 years without established CVD.

The researchers found that if one CVD event was assumed to be equivalent in severity to one major bleed, 2.5 percent of women and 12.1 percent of men were likely to have a net benefit from aspirin treatment for five years; if one CVD event was assumed to be equivalent to two major bleeds, 21.4 percent of women and 40.7 percent of men were likely to have a net benefit. Compared with net harm subgroups, subgroups with net benefit had higher baseline CVD risk, higher levels of most established CVD risk factors, and lower levels of bleeding-specific risk factors.

"Some persons without CVD are likely to derive net benefit from aspirin," the authors write. "They could be identified by using a personalized benefit-harm analysis, and sharing the findings of such an analysis with patients might support more informed decision making."

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