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Medical News & Perspectives
January 4, 2006

Aspirin, “Super Aspirin” Use in Women for Cardioprevention Probed

JAMA. 2006;295(1):20-21. doi:10.1001/jama.295.1.20

Dallas—Scientists continue to discover benefits of aspirin use for women in preventing or reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. But are clinicians and patients getting the news?

Findings presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions held here in November highlighted contradictions that continue to surround aspirin use by women.

Current research holds that aspirin works for risk reduction in women with established cardiovascular disease but may not reduce risk for women without established disease. Much of this knowledge has emerged from subset analysis of major trials primarily involving men, or from more recently published trials focusing specifically on women. Indeed, the most definitive findings on primary prevention came just earlier this year with publication of the Women's Health Study, which showed that low-dose aspirin (100 mg on alternate days) lowered stroke risk but had no effect on risk of myocardial infarction or death from cardiovascular causes, although subgroup analyses showed it did reduce risk for major cardiovascular events and myocardial infarction in women older than 65 years (Ridker PM et al. N Engl J Med. 2005;352:1293-1304).