Aspirin reduces the risk of a first heart attack by 32 percent, according to a report by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center & Miami Heart Institute (MSMC-MHI) published in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. The paper, which is based on a meta-analysis of five major randomized clinical trials (55,580 participants, 11,466 women) in primary prevention, also found that aspirin reduces the combined risk of heart attack, stroke and vascular death by 15 percent.
Charles H. Hennekens, M.D., Co-Director of Cardiovascular Research at MSMC-MHI, and Professor of Medicine & Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Miami School of Medicine was the first to demonstrate the benefit of aspirin in reducing the risk of a first heart attack in a landmark Physicians Health Study (PHS), which was published in 1988 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Under his direction, Rachel S. Eidelman, M.D., a cardiology fellow at MSMC-MHI, performed the latest meta-analysis.
The findings strongly support the treatment guidelines issued by the American Heart Association (AHA), which recommends the use of aspirin for all men and women whose 10-year risks of a first coronary event are 10 percent or greater. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released similar guidelines earlier in 2002, urging all healthcare providers to consider the use of aspirin in all apparently healthy men and women with a 6 percent or greater 10-year risk of a coronary event.
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