One in three patients 'resistant to aspirin'

Up to 30 per cent of patients may be 'resistant' to aspirin, increasing their risk of a vascular event almost fourfold, claim Canadian researchers.

A meta-analysis of 20 studies including 2,930 patients showed that 28 per cent were classified as being non-responsive to aspirin.

Although this phenomenon was first discovered in the 1980s, some experts have doubted if it is real and whether it affects clinical outcomes.

But the latest study shows aspirin resistance could affect a sizeable minority of patients and be detrimental for their long-term cardiovascular morbidity.

All participants were taking 75–325 mg aspirin daily, but the odds of having a vascular event were almost four times higher in the aspirin-resistant group than in the aspirin-sensitive group.

Among those with aspirin resistance, 41 per cent had a cardiovascular related event, putting them at almost four times the risk seen in the aspirin-sensitive group.

The findings suggest that the perceived 25 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular risk expected in patients taking aspirin may be negated in the aspirin resistant.

rachel.liddle@haymarket.com

British Medical Journal

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