Aspirin–Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor Coadministration and Mortality in Patients With Heart Failure: A Dose-Related Adverse Effect of Aspirin | Cardiology | JAMA Internal Medicine | JAMA Network
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Original Investigation
July 14, 2003

Aspirin–Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitor Coadministration and Mortality in Patients With Heart Failure: A Dose-Related Adverse Effect of Aspirin

Author Affiliations

From the Istituto di Cardiologia (Drs M. Guazzi, Brambilla, Tumminello, and M. D. Guazzi) and Instituto di Statistica e Biometria (Dr Rèina), Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy. The authors have no relevant financial interest in this article.

Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(13):1574-1579. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.13.1574
Abstract

Background  It is debated whether in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), aspirin may contrast the clinical benefits of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs). Two major unresolved issues in patients with CHF are whether these agents together can affect mortality and whether the interaction is related with the dose of aspirin. We aimed at exploring these possibilities.

Methods  We evaluated more than 4000 hospitalizations with a principal discharge diagnosis of CHF from January 10, 1990, to December 31, 1999. The final analysis was restricted to 344 patients taking ACEIs who satisfied the selection criteria, in whom reliable information was available concerning drug therapy during follow-up. In these patients, treatment included no aspirin in 235 (group 1), a low dose (≤160 mg) in 45 (group 2), and a high dose (≥325 mg) in 64 (group 3).

Results  During a mean follow-up of 37.6 months, there were 84 (36%) deaths in group 1, 15 (33%) in group 2, and 35 (55%) in group 3. By the Kaplan-Meier approach, survival was similar in groups 1 and 2, and significantly (P = .009) worse in group 3 compared with groups 1 and 2. After adjusting for potential confounding factors (including treatment, cause of heart disease, age, smoking, and diabetes mellitus), a time-dependent multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis showed that the combination of high-dose aspirin with an ACEI was independently associated with the risk of death (hazard ratio, 1.03; P = .01) and that the combination of low-dose aspirin with an ACEI was not (hazard ratio, 1.02; P = .18).

Conclusion  These results support the possibility that in some patients with CHF who are taking an ACEI, a dose-related effect of aspirin may adversely affect survival.

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