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Low-dose aspirin does not appear to reduce risk of CV events in patients with diabetes
Date:11/9/2008

5 percent of the patients were men. The median (midpoint) follow-up period was 4.37 years. The main outcome measures were atherosclerotic events, including fatal or nonfatal ischemic heart disease, fatal or nonfatal stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.

"A total of 154 atherosclerotic events occurred: 68 in the aspirin group and 86 in the nonaspirin group," the researchers write. "In the 1,363 patients aged 65 years or older (719 in the aspirin group and 644 in the nonaspirin group), the incidence of atherosclerotic events was significantly lower in the aspirin group (45 events, 6.3 percent) than in the nonaspirin group (59 events, 9.2 percent)." In the 1,176 patients younger than 65 the difference among events in the two groups was not significant.

Aspirin was well tolerated: in comparing bleeding events, the researchers reported 13 hemorrhagic strokes, with no statistically significant difference between aspirin takers and non-takers (six such strokes in the aspirin group; seven in the non-aspirin group). There was a comparable number of the combined endpoint of serious hemorrhagic events (hemorrhagic strokes and major gastrointestinal bleeds).

"Myocardial infarction [heart attack] and ischemic stroke are leading causes of mortality and morbidity in patients with type 2 diabetes. Given the rapid increase in the number of patients with type 2 diabetes worldwide and especially in Asia, establishing effective means of primary prevention of coronary and cerebrovascular events is an important public health priority," the authors comment.

While this study did not find that low-dose aspirin significantly reduced the risk of atherosclerotic events in primary prevention therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes, the authors suggest more research is needed. "These findings should be interpreted in context with the low incidence of atherosclerotic disease in Japan and the current management practice for cardiovascular risk factors
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Contact: Hisao Ogawa, M.D., Ph.D.
ogawah@kumamoto-u.ac.jp
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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