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Aspirin Doesn't Guard Diabetics Against Heart Disease
Date:11/9/2008

Second study found vitamins E, C did little to protect healthy men, either

SUNDAY, Nov. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Two large studies released Sunday cast doubt on the cardiac benefits of either low-dose aspirin or vitamin supplements.

First, Japanese researchers found that low-dose aspirin did not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes.

Second, Harvard researchers concluded that neither vitamin E nor vitamin C reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events in a group of low-risk, middle-aged male physicians.

People with diabetes are at a much higher risk for cardiovascular events, and the American Diabetes Association recommends the use of aspirin as a primary prevention measure. However, there is scant evidence to support the recommendations, said researchers from Kumamoto University in Japan.

The JPAD trial randomized 2,539 Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes with no history of atherosclerotic disease to receive low-dose aspirin (81 or 100 milligrams per day) or to be in a non-aspirin control group.

While aspirin resulted only in a slight reduction in the risk of coronary, cerebrovascular and peripheral vascular events in participants, it did reduce combined fatal coronary and cerebrovascular events.

Among volunteers aged 65 or older, there was a borderline significant reduction (32 percent) in the risk of coronary, cerebrovascular and peripheral vascular events.

The study leaves a number of questions unanswered, experts said.

"We have to wait for more studies," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "I also don't know if we can use this data to extrapolate to an American population."

"There was a trend for cardiovascular event reduction, but not even close to being statistically significant, and also significantly lower fatal events, but again very few," s
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