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Only heart patients should take aspirin

3rd November 2009

A study by the Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB) has said people who take aspirin regularly to prevent heart attacks and strokes should not be taking it.


The researchers said taking the drug can cause side effects, including internal bleeding, and did not stop cardiovascular problems in people with no history of heart disease.

The DTB called for GPs to re-examine prescriptions for patients who take aspirin in order to stop heart problems.

The drug has been proved to prevent further heart problems in people who have already suffered episodes of cardiovascular disease in the past.

However, many people without symptoms or problems take the drug as a preventative measure.

The DTB reviewed data from six trials which involved 95,000 patients and found that aspirin had a "negligible" impact on death rates.

Dr Ike Ikeanacho, editor of the DTB, said: "Current evidence for primary prevention suggests the benefits and harms of aspirin in this setting may be more finely balanced than previously thought, even in individuals estimated to be at high risk of experiencing cardiovascular events, including those with diabetes or elevated blood pressure."

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said the DTB was a very good supplier of impartial advice to medics.

He said: "Given the evidence, the DTB's statement on aspirin prescription is a sensible one."

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Article Information

Title: Only heart patients should take aspirin
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 13112
Date Added: 3rd Nov 2009


BBC News

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