Stopping a daily aspirin routine increases heart attack risk

July 21, 2011 by Deborah Braconnier, Medical Xpress report
Coated aspirin tablets. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

(Medical Xpress) -- A new study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that people who have been diagnosed with heart disease and placed on a daily aspirin dose are at an increased risk of a heart attack if they stop taking the aspirin.

Low dose aspirin, usually in a dose range between 75 and 300 milligrams, are prescribed to patients to reduce the risk of and a possible . However, for many different reasons, half of these patients eventually stop this routine.

The researchers, led by Dr. Luis Garcia Rodriguez from the Spanish Center for Pharmacoepidemiologic Research, gathered data from located in a large database in the United Kingdom called the Health Improvement Network. They looked at 39,513 patients between the ages of 50 and 84 that had been prescribed low dose aspirin between 2000 and 2007.

What they discovered after a three year follow-up was that there was a 60 percent increase of a non-fatal heart attack in those patients who had discontinued taking their . This breaks down to about four heart attacks per 1,000 patients who cease taking their aspirin therapy.

Rodriguez emphasizes that patients should never stop taking their aspirin therapy unless directed to do so by their physician. This research shows how important just a tiny little pill once a day can make a big difference in decreasing the risk of another heart attack.

The authors believe that more research needs to be done to look at what reasons might be causing patients to stop their aspirin therapy. Researchers believe that reasons such as simply forgetting, not believing it is therapeutically beneficial or possible adverse reactions that are not being discussed with their physician could be behind the discontinuation of aspirin treatment.

They believe that more awareness needs to be made on the importance of adhering to an aspirin therapy treatment plan and advise all patients currently on aspirin therapy to make sure they take their aspirin every day to reduce their risk of another heart attack.

Explore further: Higher daily dose of aspirin could play key role in preventing heart attacks for those with diabetes

More information: Discontinuation of low dose aspirin and risk of myocardial infarction: case-control study in UK primary care, BMJ 2011; 343:d4094 doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4094 (Published 19 July 2011)

Related Stories

Higher daily dose of aspirin could play key role in preventing heart attacks for those with diabetes

July 5, 2011
In some cases, an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but for people with diabetes, regular, over-the-counter Aspirin may also do the job.

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.