[Acetylsalicylic acid in primary prevention of cardiovascular events; literature study]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 146, 2, (2002), pp. 68-72
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectHeartfunction and circulation; Hypertension and Circulation; Lipoproteins and atherosclerose; Hartfunctie en circulatie; Hypertensie en circulatie; Lipoproteïnen en atherosclerose
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate literature data on the use of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) as a primary prevention measure for cardiovascular events. DESIGN: Literature search. METHOD: Using Medline, all randomised placebo-controlled trials of ASA published between 1985 and 1 May 2001, and which used cardiovascular morbidity and death as outcome measures were identified (search query: 'aspirin' and 'primary prevention'). Using the raw data presented in the source publication on death, fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarctions and cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs), all relative and absolute risk reductions were recalculated with confidence intervals. RESULTS: In healthy middle-aged men, men with an increased cardiovascular risk profile and persons with diabetes mellitus or hypertension, the use of ASA reduces the incidence of myocardial infarction and has a neutral effect on cerebrovascular events. The protective effect of ASA seemed most marked in those persons with an increased risk of manifest atherosclerotic vascular disease. CONCLUSION: Notwithstanding these findings, for each patient it remains essential to weigh up the cardiovascular risk profile against the small increased risk of complications when prescribing ASA.
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