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Aspirin use ‘surging’ in US as cardiovascular preventative

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A national survey suggests that slightly more than half of the older adults in the US are now taking a daily dose of aspirin as a method of trying to preventing a cardiovascular event.  

In the survey of more than 2,500 respondents aged 45-75, 52% reported currently using aspirin. Researchers observed that aspirin use was surging, especially among adults as “primary prevention” against CVD and also cancer in some cases.

Study author Craig Williams, a pharmacotherapy specialist at Oregon State University, said: “There’s no doubt that aspirin use can have value for people who have experienced a first heart attack, stroke or angina. The data to support that is very strong.

“The support of its use in primary prevention is more of a mixed bag,” he said. “But this survey clearly shows that more and more people who have not experienced those events and are not technically considered at high risk… are also deciding to use aspirin, usually in consultation with their doctors.”

Professor Williams added that, as well as CVD events, some studies had suggested a role for aspirin in preventing cancer, especially of the colon, which had further increased interest in its use.

In his study, 84% of aspirin users cited heart attack prevention as the reason using it and 66% for stroke prevention.

A further 18% also cited cancer prevention and 11% that they took it for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

The study findings have been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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