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Aspirin as Effective as Warfarin for Heart Failure: Study
Date:5/2/2012

pirin or the increased risk of primarily gastrointestinal hemorrhage [stomach bleeding] with warfarin."

Although the study, published in the May 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, found aspirin and warfarin to be equally effective, the researchers noted that aspirin may be a more likely choice for doctors and patients.

Like warfarin, aspirin reduces the risk of stroke due to a clot or blockage. Aspirin, however, is cheaper and available over the counter. Warfarin also requires a strict dosing regimen, including regular blood tests to monitor patients' clotting levels.

"Since the overall risks and benefits are similar for aspirin and warfarin, the patient and his or her doctor are free to choose the treatment that best meets their particular medical needs," principal investigator, Dr. Shunichi Homma, associate chief of the cardiology division at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia and a professor of medicine at Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, said in the news release. "However, given the convenience and low cost of aspirin, many may go this route."

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about treatments for heart failure.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Columbia University, news release, May 2, 2012


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