Author Affiliations: Division of Rheumatology (Dr Bongartz) and Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism and Nutrition (Dr Kudva), Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.
When chemist Felix Hoffmann rediscovered the formula of acetylsalicylic acid in 1899, he produced a small amount to treat his father's arthritis pain. With good results, he convinced German company Bayer to market the medication as a potent painkiller. Unknown at the time was the pleiotropism of the new drug, especially its antithrombotic potential. It would take several decades before the observation of low cardiovascular event rates in patients treated with acetylsalicylic acid revealed its beneficial effects on reducing the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.
Bongartz T, Kudva Y. Can Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Diseases Reduce the Risk of Diabetes Mellitus?. JAMA. 2011;305(24):2573-2574. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.884