Daily dose of Aspirin could Prevent Heart Disease for Diabetes Patients

July 5, 2011

According to a recent study, individuals who have diabetes may wish to use Aspirin as a preventative strike against cardiovascular disease.

According to a recent study, individuals who have diabetes may wish to use Aspirin as a preventative strike against cardiovascular disease.

The study was conducted by Scot Simpson, a University of Alberta researcher and an associate professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Simpson gathered information from twenty-one clinical trials that focused on whether taking Aspirin would prevent a first or repeat heart attack/stroke.

Simpson used data from diabetic patients in these studies and found that diabetic participants with prior cardiac attacks who were taking a low dose of Aspirin daily did not benefit greatly in terms of prevention of a second heart attack or a decreased risk of mortality.

Diabetic patients taking increased doses of Aspirin, however, benefitted greatly from decreased risk of a repeat heart attack, and the risk of death was considerably lower.

"We took all of the data from twenty-one studies and focused specifically on diabetic patients who had suffered a previous heart attack or stroke to measure the ability of Aspirin to prevent a second event,” said Simpson. “We found that, if those patients took up to 325 milligrams of Aspirin per day, they had a 23% lower risk of death.”

According to Simpson, as many as 60% of deaths in diabetics can be blamed on heart disease.

Simpson stated that individuals suffering from diabetes are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and that he always suspected the Aspirin dosage might play a significant role in treating cardiovascular disease in diabetics. As Aspirin is an over-the-counter medication, it is a drug that pharmacists may have an active role in administering.

"The pharmacists' best role for chronic disease management is working proactively with physicians and patients," concluded Simpson. "Whether that means working directly with the physician, and consulting about prescribed medications, or when the patient is deciding about whether or not to take Aspirin as part of a treatment plan, pharmacists can have a significant, positive impact."