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Low-Dose Aspirin Lowers CVD Risk but Raises Bleeding Risk

Authors used umbrella review method to explore health outcomes associated with low-dose aspirin

WEDNESDAY, June 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Low-dose aspirin significantly lowers cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk but increases the risk for bleeding, according to a review published online June 2 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Nicola Veronese, M.D., from the National Research Council in Padua, Italy, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trials comparing low-dose aspirin to placebo or other treatments.

Based on 67 meta-analyses, the researchers found evidence for aspirin use and an increased risk for upper gastrointestinal bleeding (relative risk [RR], 2.28). For low-dose aspirin, there was strong evidence for a lower risk for CVD in people without CVD (RR, 0.83) and in the general population (RR, 0.83). However, there was also a higher risk for major gastrointestinal (RR, 1.47) and intracranial bleeding (RR, 1.34) as well as major bleeding in people without CVD (RR, 1.62).

“These risks and benefits need to be weighted in formal decision analysis to guide aspirin use in primary prevention,” the authors write.

One study author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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