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Daily Aspirin May Help Those at Risk for Recurrent Blood Clots
Date:11/5/2012

By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- About a quarter of people who experience the dangerous blood clots in the legs or lungs known as venous thromboembolisms (VTEs) develop them for no discernable reason, and most will receive a powerful anti-clotting drug such as warfarin in the months after the clot forms.

But what about longer-term care, to ward off a recurrent clot, or events such as heart attack or stroke? A new study suggests that patients who go on low-dose daily aspirin after they are weaned off more powerful anticoagulants can derive real benefit.

While this study alone could not show a significant effect for aspirin therapy in preventing a recurrent clot for these patients, it did show a significant lowering of overall cardiovascular risk for such complications as heart attack, stroke, major bleeding or death from any cause.

The study was presented Sunday at the American Heart Association's annual meeting in Los Angeles, and was published simultaneously in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The study authors said they saw a "non-significant" trend hinting at aspirin's ability to prevent a second VTE, but the study group was simply too small to push that to statistical significance.

However, they added, when the findings from this study were combined with those of a similar trial called WARFASA, the combined data did show that daily aspirin could prevent recurrent blood clots.

"The essential message of the study that we are presenting today, and combining that with the WARFASA study that was published earlier this year in the NEJM, is that aspirin does have a benefit: about a 30 percent risk reduction of recurrent vein thrombosis, and also about a similar effect in reducing other major vascular events stroke, myocardial infarction [heart attack] and cardiovascular death," said study author Timothy Brighton, a consultant hemat
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