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Aspirin Still Used for Primary Prevention among Older Americans Without CVD: Daily Dose

Aspirin Still Used for Primary Prevention among Older Americans Without CVD: Daily Dose / Image Credit: ©New Africa/AdobeStock
©New Africa/AdobeStock

Patient Care brings primary care clinicians a lot of medical news every day—it’s easy to miss an important study. The Daily Dose provides a concise summary of one of the website's leading stories you may not have seen.

Last week, we reported on findings from a survey published in Annals of Internal Medicine that examined trends in prevalence of aspirin use for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention among US adults.

The study

Researchers analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey Sample Adult component for 2012-2018 and for 2019 for participants aged 40 years and older. The final cohort numbered 186 425, representing approximately 150 million adults, and 52.6% were women.

The findings

In 2021, 18.5% of adults aged 40 years and older and 29.7% of those 60 years and older who did not have CVD said they were using aspirin for primary prevention of heart disease. Among the latter group, 5.2% were found to be using aspirin without medical advice.

Some adults surveyed reported not taking aspirin despite a clinician’s recommendation; among them, 44.5% were “eventually advised” to stop using aspirin for primary prevention in 2021, an increase from 30.0% in 2012-2017.

Authors' comment

Researchers emphasized the "urgent need for physicians to inquire about aspirin use, including self-use, and engage in risk–benefit discussions to reduce inappropriate use for primary prevention in older adults.”

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