WHIPPANY, N.J: In response to the report in Annals of Internal Medicine, Bayer realizes there may be confusion around the appropriate use of aspirin, which in the United States is only approved for secondary prevention. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so patients should talk to their doctor before they begin an aspirin regimen.
This report only looked at patients who take aspirin for primary prevention, which is the use of aspirin to prevent a first cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or ischemic stroke. Importantly, it did not look at patients who take aspirin for secondary prevention, which is when someone takes aspirin because they already have known underlying risk of cardiovascular disease and are trying to prevent another event. Neither this research nor recent guidelines have changed the importance of aspirin for these patients. Aspirin continues to be a life-saving preventative treatment for many patients who have already had a cardiovascular event.
Bayer reiterates the conclusion of the paper no one should start, stop or modify an aspirin regimen without first speaking with their doctor. The risks of discontinuing an aspirin regimen are significant - increasing risk for another heart attack by 63 percent and by 40 percent for a clot-related stroke. It is therefore important that patients speak with their doctor if they have any questions about recent news or research regarding aspirin.
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