Navigation Links
Aspirin Lowers Stroke Risk in Peripheral Artery Disease

But findings limited by lack of studies on subject, researchers note

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- There haven't been enough studies to tell whether aspirin reduces the risk of heart attack and death for people with the blocked leg blood vessel condition called peripheral arterial disease, but it does cut the incidence of stroke, researchers report.

The finding comes from a meta-analysis of the not-too-many studies of aspirin use with peripheral arterial disease (PAD); it appears in the May 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It's not clear why PAD has been a neglected subject, said study co-author Dr. Mori J. Krantz, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado. "PAD is the unloved stepchild of atherosclerosis, in that it has been understudied."

The degree of neglect was evident in numbers cited in the report. Studies of aspirin therapy in other kinds of atherosclerosis have been numerous. But the largest of the 18 studies of PAD cited in the report included just 1,276 people. The total of all the people in those studies was 5,269.

And 15 of those 18 studies were done more than 10 years ago, said Dr. Mary McGrae McDermott, a professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and co-author of an accompanying editorial. "How relative they are to the PAD patient today is not clear."

Overall, those studies found a 12 percent reduction in all cardiovascular events among patients receiving aspirin therapy, compared to those who were not -- a number that did not reach statistical significance. There was no significant reduction in the death rate or incidence of heart attacks, but the incidence of nonfatal stroke was 34 percent lower in the aspirin-taking group.

"We found no evidence of harm or increased bleeding risk with aspirin," Krantz said. "We think that aspirin, for the most part, is a good treatment for atherosclerosis."

"The fact that a statistically significant reduction was not found has a lot to do with the fact that the studies were clinically underpowered," McDermott said. "Antiplatelet therapy should be used for atherosclerosis, and aspirin is certainly the cheapest antiplatelet therapy for PAD."

Antiplatelet therapy is directed at platelets, the blood cells that clump together to form clots that block arteries.

A larger study of antiplatelet therapy such as aspirin in PAD is needed to resolve any doubts, Krantz said. And, in fact, such a study is nearing completion, McDermott said. It is being done in Europe, and its leader has said that results should be available by the end of August, McDermott added.

Meanwhile, what are doctors and people with PAD to do? Pretty much what they have been doing, Krantz said.

"What I do for patients with heart disease is use aspirin," Krantz said. "For those with stroke, I use aspirin. For PAD, we vary it -- sometimes aspirin, sometimes Plavix. But even now, evidence for those combinations has not been proven. We don't know the optimum regimen for patients with PAD."

Plavix is a commonly used prescription drug used to prevent clotting.

"We don't think that anyone with PAD should be stopping their aspirin," said study author Dr. Jeffrey S. Berger, a cardiology fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. "But we need more data to show benefit with 100 percent certainty. It is well known that people with PAD need antiplatelet therapy, but it's unclear what the appropriate agent should be. It is a question that all patients need to address with their health-care providers."

More information

Learn all about PAD from the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Mori J. Krantz, M.D., associate professor, medicine, University of Colorado, Denver; Mary McGrae McDermott, M.D., professor, medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; Jeffrey S. Berger, M.D., cardiology fellow, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; May 13, 2009, Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Aspirin Linked to Brain Microbleeds
2. Plavix Plus Aspirin Lowers Stroke Risk
3. New Aspirin Test Now Available in Wichita Area
4. Aspirin recommendation underscores need for physicians and patients to discuss benefits and risk
5. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Encourages Broader Aspirin Use to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke
6. Experts Revise Guidelines on Daily Aspirin for Heart
7. Aspirin improves survival in women with stable heart disease, according to WHI study
8. Why does aspirin increase the susceptibility of Helicobacter pylori to antimicrobials?
9. What is the most effective therapy for low-dose aspirin induced peptic ulcer?
10. Long-Term Aspirin Use Seems to Protect Against Colorectal Lesions
11. Human Body May Make Its Own Aspirin
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Aspirin Lowers Stroke Risk in Peripheral Artery Disease
(Date:11/27/2015)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... November 28, 2015 , ... There ... do we outperform our billings from last year? , This question has not been ... organizations are coming to the retirement age and the younger workforce don’t share the ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... NC (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... A ... effective ways to treat it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on ... at University Hospital Zurich analyzed the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: ... in Final Cut Pro X. With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add ... ProSidebar as a minimalist title opener. Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The moment you ... for not only fulfilling the needs of advisers and clients but going above ... and providing top-tier customer service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Avid collector, Andrew Hawley from Vintage Rock Posters, ... posters. This is one of Joplin's most famous and beautiful concert posters. The concert ... Michigan in Ann Arbor. The According to Hawley, "It is hard to believe that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... STOCKHOLM , November 26, 2015 ... the potential to use SyMRI to find optimal contrast weighting ... brain tumor metastases, and has signed a research agreement with ... at the hospital. Using SyMRI, it is possible to generate ... parameter settings after the patient has left, thus making it ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Cell Surface Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... their offering.  --> ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... adds "Global Repaglinide Industry 2015 ... on China Repaglinide Market, 2010-2019" reports ... and information to its online business ... . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: