10% of heart patients misprescribed aspirin

13 January 2015

A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found that more than ten per cent of patients on aspirin therapy to prevent heart disease are inappropriately prescribed it.

Using data from the National Cardiovascular Disease Registry Practice Innovation and Clinical Excellence (PINNACLE) Registry, the team analysed the data of more than 68,800 patients who were taking aspirin for primary cardiovascular disease prevention. 

By referring to national guidelines, the researchers found that aspirin use was misprescribed for any patient with a ten-year cardiovascular disease risk of less than six per cent. The study found that nearly 12 per cent of the patients receiving aspirin for primary prevention were receiving it inappropriately. 

This inappropriate use of aspirin was higher among women, at nearly 17 per cent compared to men at just five per cent. It also found that those being misprescribed the medication were, on average, 16 years younger than those receiving aspirin appropriately. 

The researchers say that medical providers must consider whether the potential for bleeding outweighs the potential benefits of aspirin therapy in patients who don't yet meet national guidelines.

Posted by ​Edward Bartel

 

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