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U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Encourages Broader Aspirin Use to Prevent Heart Attack and Stroke
Date:3/17/2009

- Bayer Applauds USPSTF for Providing More Specific Guidance to Maximize Appropriate Aspirin Use -

MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) today strongly recommends that patients and clinicians consider the use of aspirin for preventing first heart attack and stroke, while considering benefits and risks. These recommendations, published in today's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, build on the Task Force's 2002 recommendations that stressed the importance of aspirin counseling. The new recommendations provide more specific guidance on aspirin use, providing clarity on maximizing benefits and minimizing risk.

The USPSTF granted its highest level of evidence rating encouraging the use of low-dose aspirin in men over 45 and women over 55 to prevent first heart attack and ischemic stroke respectively, when the benefits outweigh the risks. The guidance specific to women is based on results from the Women's Health Study (WHS). As stated in the Annals of Internal Medicine accompanying editorial, Aspirin for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease, "In women older than 65 years, the WHS did demonstrate a clear 26% reduction in MI: the same risk reduction as occurred in primary prevention trials of aspirin in men."(i) In addition, the new recommendations advise caution with respect to aspirin use in men and women 80 and above.

The American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association guidelines recommend that prevention strategies, including aspirin, should be discussed with men and women patients age 45 and 55 respectively, even though the risk of heart attack and stroke are typically lower in these patient populations. Additionally, since heart attack and stroke risk is significantly higher in all patients over 80, careful consideration and discussion of appropriate aspirin use continues to be important i
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SOURCE Bayer Consumer Care
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