Aspirin 'does not prevent heart attacks'

Taking aspirin regularly does not prevent heart attacks in high-risk patients with diabetes, UK research suggests.

Current guidelines are inconsistent and aspirin is commonly prescribed for the primary prevention of heart disease in patients with diabetes and with peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

For this latest study, the researchers investigated whether aspirin and antioxidants given together or separately could reduce the risk of heart attacks in a group of 1,276 patients, aged 40 and over, with diabetes and PAD.

The patients were randomised to receive either aspirin or placebo, an antioxidant or placebo, aspirin and antioxidant or double placebo, and followed up over eight years.

Overall, no benefit was found from taking either aspirin or antioxidant treatment in the prevention of heart attacks.

The researchers, from the University of Dundee, conclude by voicing their concern at the widespread prescribing of aspirin despite the lack of evidence to support it use in primary prevention of heart attacks in people with diabetes.

BMJ Online 2008

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Just published

Sign pointing to hospital

NHS England seeks to clarify GPs' responsibilities when using advice and guidance

New guidance from NHS England has set out the clinical responsibilities and medicolegal...

Widespread joint pain - red flag symptoms

Presentations and red flag symptoms that may alert you to potentially serious conditions...

Talking General Practice logo

Podcast: Supporting neurodivergent doctors and staff in general practice

Talking General Practice speaks to GPs Dr Beckie Akroyd and Dr Catherine Bell about...

BMA Scotland GP committee chair Dr Andrew Buist

General practice in Scotland 'in serious trouble', warns BMA Scotland GP chair

General practice in Scotland has reached a tipping point, with demand far outstripping...

Hospital entrance

NHS England issues warning over norovirus and rising winter pressures

Almost three times as many people were in hospital with norovirus last week compared...

BMA Northern Ireland GP committee chair Dr Alan Stout

Northern Ireland GPs face deepest-ever crisis as practices hand back contracts

Northern Ireland's GP leader has warned that general practice in the region is facing...