September 24, 2018 – Aspirin for Prevention
Anchor lead: Most people shouldn’t be taking aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Aspirin really doesn’t help otherwise healthy older people avoid cardiovascular disease, a major new trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals. Erin Michos, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says this negative result may be interpreted in light of current therapies.
Michos: I think for most people now the concern for harm outweighs the benefit. And I think the reason why there’s this discrepancy with these more modern trials compared to the old aspirin trials is that in a modern contemporary era when we’re using a lot more statin therapy when we’re having blood pressure control, when smoking rates are really low, the use of aspirin probably has less impact on heart disease prevention than it did decades ago when we didn’t have the same modern prevention therapy that we do now. :32
Michos notes that everyone should have their risk factors for cardiovascular disease assessed as this remains the number one cause of death. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.