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      Risk of myocardial infarction and death during treatment with low dose aspirin and intravenous heparin in men with unstable coronary artery disease

      The Lancet

      Elsevier BV

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          Final report on the aspirin component of the ongoing Physicians' Health Study. Steering Committee of the Physicians' Health Study Research Group.

          The Physicians' Health Study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial designed to determine whether low-dose aspirin (325 mg every other day) decreases cardiovascular mortality and whether beta carotene reduces the incidence of cancer. The aspirin component was terminated earlier than scheduled, and the preliminary findings were published. We now present detailed analyses of the cardiovascular component for 22,071 participants, at an average follow-up time of 60.2 months. There was a 44 percent reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction (relative risk, 0.56; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.45 to 0.70; P less than 0.00001) in the aspirin group (254.8 per 100,000 per year as compared with 439.7 in the placebo group). A slightly increased risk of stroke among those taking aspirin was not statistically significant; this trend was observed primarily in the subgroup with hemorrhagic stroke (relative risk, 2.14; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.96 to 4.77; P = 0.06). No reduction in mortality from all cardiovascular causes was associated with aspirin (relative risk, 0.96; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.60 to 1.54). Further analyses showed that the reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction was apparent only among those who were 50 years of age and older. The benefit was present at all levels of cholesterol, but appeared greatest at low levels. The relative risk of ulcer in the aspirin group was 1.22 (169 in the aspirin group as compared with 138 in the placebo group; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.98 to 1.53; P = 0.08), and the relative risk of requiring a blood transfusion was 1.71. This trial of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease demonstrates a conclusive reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction, but the evidence concerning stroke and total cardiovascular deaths remains inconclusive because of the inadequate numbers of physicians with these end points.
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            Protective effects of aspirin against acute myocardial infarction and death in men with unstable angina. Results of a Veterans Administration Cooperative Study.

            We conducted a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial of aspirin treatment (324 mg in buffered solution daily) for 12 weeks in 1266 men with unstable angina (625 taking aspirin and 641 placebo). The principal end points were death and acute myocardial infarction diagnosed by the presence of creatine kinase MB or pathologic Q-wave changes on electrocardiograms. The incidence of death or acute myocardial infarction was 51 per cent lower in the aspirin group than in the placebo group: 31 patients (5.0 per cent) as compared with 65 (10.1 per cent); P = 0.0005. Nonfatal acute myocardial infarction was 51 per cent lower in the aspirin group: 21 patients (3.4 per cent) as compared with 44 (6.9 per cent); P = 0.005. The reduction in mortality in the aspirin group was also 51 per cent--10 patients (1.6 per cent) as compared with 21 (3.3 per cent)--although it was not statistically significant; P = 0.054. There was no difference in gastrointestinal symptoms or evidence of blood loss between the treatment and control groups. Our data show that aspirin has a protective effect against acute myocardial infarction in men with unstable angina, and they suggest a similar effect on mortality.
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              Aspirin, heparin, or both to treat acute unstable angina.

              We tested the usefulness of aspirin (325 mg twice daily), heparin (1000 units per hour by intravenous infusion), and a combination of the two in the early management of acute unstable angina pectoris in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 479 patients. The patients entered the study as soon as possible after hospital admission (at a mean [+/- SD] of 7.9 +/- 8.0 hours after the last episode of pain), and the study was ended after 6 +/- 3 days, when definitive therapy had been selected. Major end points--refractory angina, myocardial infarction, and death--occurred in 23, 12, and 1.7 percent of the 118 patients receiving placebo, respectively. Heparin was associated with a decrease in the occurrence of refractory angina (P = 0.002). The incidence of myocardial infarction was significantly reduced in the groups receiving aspirin (3 percent; P = 0.01), heparin (0.8 percent; P less than 0.001), and aspirin plus heparin (1.6 percent, P = 0.003), and no deaths occurred in these groups. There were too few deaths overall to permit evaluation of the effect of treatment on this end point. The combination of aspirin and heparin had no greater protective effect than heparin alone but was associated with slightly more serious bleeding (3.3 vs. 1.7 percent). We conclude that in the acute phase of unstable angina, either aspirin or heparin treatment is associated with a reduced incidence of myocardial infarction, and there is a trend favoring heparin over aspirin. Heparin treatment is also associated with a reduced incidence of refractory angina.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Lancet
                The Lancet
                Elsevier BV
                01406736
                October 1990
                October 1990
                : 336
                : 8719
                : 827-830
                Article
                10.1016/0140-6736(90)92336-G
                © 1990

                http://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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