Aspirin role in preventing CVD questioned

The meta-analysis of nine randomised placebo controlled trials, with more than 1000 participants each, looked at over 100,000 patients.

Over a mean follow up of six years, aspirin reduced total CVD events by 10%, mainly due to a 20% reduction in non-fatal myocardial infarction. However there was no significant reduction found for fatal MI, stroke, CVD death or cancer mortality.

Analysis also showed a 70% excess risk of total bleeding events and more than 30% excess risk of non-trivial bleeding events in people receiving aspirin daily.

The researchers concluded that aspirin prophylaxis in people without prior CVD does not lead to reductions in cardiovascular death, and routine use of aspirin for primary prevention is not warranted as the benefits are offset by clinically important bleeding events. They cautioned that people without a history of cardiovascular disease should seek advice rather than self-medicate with aspirin.