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      The Efficacy And Safety Of Aspirin As The Primary Prevention Of Cardiovascular Disease: An Updated Meta-Analysis

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          Information regarding the use of aspirin for patients with no known cardiovascular disease remains conflicting. We performed an updated meta-analysis to evaluate the efficacy and safety of aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

          Patients and methods

          PubMed, MEDLINE, and Cochrane library databases were searched for randomized controlled trials comparing aspirin with placebos or no treatment published up until November 1, 2018. The primary efficacy endpoint was all-cause death. The secondary endpoints included cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, and stroke. The safety endpoints included major bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, and hemorrhagic stroke.

          Results

          Fourteen studies were included. Aspirin use was associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction than placebo use or no treatment (risk ratio [RR], 0.83, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.73–0.95, P = 0.005). Additionally, compared with the control groups, aspirin use was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality or cardiovascular mortality. In terms of safety, aspirin use was associated with a higher risk of major bleeding (RR, 1.40, 95% CI: 1.25–1.57, P = 0.000), gastrointestinal bleeding (RR, 1.58, 95% CI: 1.25–1.99, P = 0.000), and hemorrhagic stroke (RR, 1.30, 95% CI: 1.06–1.60, P = 0.011). Furthermore, the treatment effect was not significantly modified by patients’ clinical characteristics. No publication bias was present.

          Conclusion

          Aspirin use reduced the myocardial infarction risk in patients without known cardiovascular disease, but had no effect in terms of reducing the risk of all-cause death, cardiovascular death, and stroke, and increased the risk of major bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, and hemorrhagic stroke.

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          Most cited references 13

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          A randomized trial of low-dose aspirin in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women.

          Randomized trials have shown that low-dose aspirin decreases the risk of a first myocardial infarction in men, with little effect on the risk of ischemic stroke. There are few similar data in women. We randomly assigned 39,876 initially healthy women 45 years of age or older to receive 100 mg of aspirin on alternate days or placebo and then monitored them for 10 years for a first major cardiovascular event (i.e., nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes). During follow-up, 477 major cardiovascular events were confirmed in the aspirin group, as compared with 522 in the placebo group, for a nonsignificant reduction in risk with aspirin of 9 percent (relative risk, 0.91; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.80 to 1.03; P=0.13). With regard to individual end points, there was a 17 percent reduction in the risk of stroke in the aspirin group, as compared with the placebo group (relative risk, 0.83; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.69 to 0.99; P=0.04), owing to a 24 percent reduction in the risk of ischemic stroke (relative risk, 0.76; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.63 to 0.93; P=0.009) and a nonsignificant increase in the risk of hemorrhagic stroke (relative risk, 1.24; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.82 to 1.87; P=0.31). As compared with placebo, aspirin had no significant effect on the risk of fatal or nonfatal myocardial infarction (relative risk, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.84 to 1.25; P=0.83) or death from cardiovascular causes (relative risk, 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.74 to 1.22; P=0.68). Gastrointestinal bleeding requiring transfusion was more frequent in the aspirin group than in the placebo group (relative risk, 1.40; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.07 to 1.83; P=0.02). Subgroup analyses showed that aspirin significantly reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events, ischemic stroke, and myocardial infarction among women 65 years of age or older. In this large, primary-prevention trial among women, aspirin lowered the risk of stroke without affecting the risk of myocardial infarction or death from cardiovascular causes, leading to a nonsignificant finding with respect to the primary end point. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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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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              The prevention of progression of arterial disease and diabetes (POPADAD) trial: factorial randomised placebo controlled trial of aspirin and antioxidants in patients with diabetes and asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease

              Objective To determine whether aspirin and antioxidant therapy, combined or alone, are more effective than placebo in reducing the development of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes mellitus and asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease. Design Multicentre, randomised, double blind, 2×2 factorial, placebo controlled trial. Setting 16 hospital centres in Scotland, supported by 188 primary care groups. Participants 1276 adults aged 40 or more with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and an ankle brachial pressure index of 0.99 or less but no symptomatic cardiovascular disease. Interventions Daily, 100 mg aspirin tablet plus antioxidant capsule (n=320), aspirin tablet plus placebo capsule (n=318), placebo tablet plus antioxidant capsule (n=320), or placebo tablet plus placebo capsule (n=318). Main outcome measures Two hierarchical composite primary end points of death from coronary heart disease or stroke, non-fatal myocardial infarction or stroke, or amputation above the ankle for critical limb ischaemia; and death from coronary heart disease or stroke. Results No evidence was found of any interaction between aspirin and antioxidant. Overall, 116 of 638 primary events occurred in the aspirin groups compared with 117 of 638 in the no aspirin groups (18.2% v 18.3%): hazard ratio 0.98 (95% confidence interval 0.76 to 1.26). Forty three deaths from coronary heart disease or stroke occurred in the aspirin groups compared with 35 in the no aspirin groups (6.7% v 5.5%): 1.23 (0.79 to 1.93). Among the antioxidant groups 117 of 640 (18.3%) primary events occurred compared with 116 of 636 (18.2%) in the no antioxidant groups (1.03, 0.79 to 1.33). Forty two (6.6%) deaths from coronary heart disease or stroke occurred in the antioxidant groups compared with 36 (5.7%) in the no antioxidant groups (1.21, 0.78 to 1.89). Conclusion This trial does not provide evidence to support the use of aspirin or antioxidants in primary prevention of cardiovascular events and mortality in the population with diabetes studied. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN53295293.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                TCRM
                tcriskman
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                24 September 2019
                2019
                : 15
                : 1129-1140
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Cardiology, Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University , Yulin, Guangxi 537000, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Graduate School, Guangxi Medical University , Nanning, Guangxi 530021, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ming Liu Department of Cardiology, Sixth Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University , 495 Education Road, Yulin, Guangxi537000, People’s Republic of ChinaTel/Fax +86 0775 268 3223 Email yulinlm@yeah.net
                Article
                198403
                10.2147/TCRM.S198403
                6767763
                © 2019 Xie et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 10, Tables: 2, References: 31, Pages: 12
                Categories
                Original Research

                Medicine

                meta-analysis, aspirin, cardiovascular disease, primary prevention

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