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Aspirin Helps Prevent Strokes in Women and Heart Attacks in Men

January 18th 2006

Aspirin Helps Prevent Strokes in Women and Heart Attacks in Men

81mg coated aspirin

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association touts the benefits of aspirin again.  According to researchers at Duke University, aspirin will reduce the risk of heart attacks in men and strokes in women. This highlights the way drugs affect the genders differently.

Aspirin does carry an increased risk of bleeding.  This is the case with both sexes.  Most previous studies looked at aspirin’s effects on men.  This new study compares the effects on both sexes. 

According to a press release from Dunk University, cardiology fellow Jeffrey Berger, MD says that both men and women “who can tolerate aspirin should be taking the medication for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.”  Of course check with your doctor first.


There could be gastrointestinal side effects associated with aspirin.  This may account for 5% of the population, according to the Duke University press release.  Some people may even be allergic to aspirin. But overall, the benefits outweigh the known bad side effects.

This study encompassed a new meta-analysis of more than 95,456 patients by the Duke University cardiologist.  Of this total 51,342 were women.  They compared the low dose aspirin (81mg) with a placebo.

The researchers found that aspirin conferred a 12 percent reduction in risk of cardiovascular events for women, and a 14 percent reduction for men. "Our findings are particularly noteworthy in that aspirin's main beneficial effects appeared to be the reduction in the risk of stroke for women and reduction in the risk of heart attacks for men," according to Berger. "While our analysis showed that aspirin may have different effects in men and women, the relatively small number of heart attacks among women and strokes among men suggest that more research is needed to better understand any differences in cardiovascular responses to aspirin."


Here are the details:  Specifically, among the 51,342 women in the analysis, there were 625 strokes and 469 heart attacks. Among the 44,114 men, there were 597 strokes and 1,023 heart attacks.

There was a slight increase bleeding risk. The analysis found that routine aspirin use for an average of 6.4 years would lead to 2.5 major bleeding events per 1,000 women and 3 major bleeding events per 1,000 men.

Berger still believes the benefits outweigh the risks, he said "For this reason, while we believe that many more people could benefit from taking aspirin, it is important for patients and their physicians to discuss the issue and weigh the benefits and potential drawbacks to this therapy."

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Heart Disease

Keywords and misspellings:  dash deit blood presure stroke embolism imbolism embilism embelism boode clot

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:49 PM