Increased risk of heart attack or stroke for patients who are resistant to aspirin

Jan 18, 2008

Being resistant to aspirin makes patients four times more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke or even die from a pre-existing heart condition, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

The study relates to patients who are prescribed aspirin long term as a way of preventing clots from forming in the blood.

Patients who are labelled “aspirin resistant” have blood cells (platelets) that are not affected in the same way as those of patients who are responsive to the drug, ie people who are “aspirin sensitive.”

There is currently no agreed method of accurately determining who is and isn’t aspirin resistant and the reasons why someone might be aspirin resistant are currently a cause of controversy.

Relatively few studies have looked at whether aspirin resistance has any impact on clinical outcome so the Canadian authors carried out a review of all the available data to better understand the relationship between the two.

They identified 20 studies, involving 2,930 patients with cardiovascular disease, all of whom had been prescribed aspirin as a way of preventing clots from forming in the blood. 28% were classified as aspirin resistant.

They found that all aspirin resistant patients, regardless of their underlying clinical condition, were at greater risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke or even dying. In particular they found that 39% of aspirin resistant patients compared to 16% of aspirin sensitive patients suffered some sort of cardiovascular event.

They also found that taking other drugs to thin the blood, such as Clopidogrel or Tirofiban, did not provide any benefit to these patients.

The authors conclude that there needs to be further studies on aspirin resistance to identify the most useful test to determine the condition. They also say aspirin resistance: “is a biological entity that should be considered when recommending aspirin as antiplatelet therapy.”

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: Scientists identify the master regulator of cells' heat shock response

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Little purple pill' is under microscope

Oct 11, 2010

Dr. Marcus Thygeson once wrote his patients countless prescriptions for heartburn drugs such as Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium -- the "little purple pills" of TV ads.

Mystery unraveled: How asbestos causes cancer

Jun 29, 2010

More than 20 million people in the U.S., and many more worldwide, who have been exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing mesothelioma, a malignant cancer of the membranes that cover the lungs and abdomen that is resistant ...

Aspirin protection for Lynch syndrome

Sep 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A daily dose of aspirin can prevent the occurrence of cancer in people with a genetic predisposition towards Lynch syndrome, a Newcastle University scientist has told Europe’s largest cancer congress. Lynch ...

Aspirin shows promise for colon cancer patients

Aug 11, 2009

Men and women who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and began regular use of aspirin had a lower risk of overall and colorectal cancer death compared to patients not using aspirin, according to a study in the August 12 ...

Recommended for you

Cellular protein may be key to longevity

21 hours ago

Researchers have found that levels of a regulatory protein called ATF4, and the corresponding levels of the molecules whose expression it controls, are elevated in the livers of mice exposed to multiple interventions ...

Gut bacteria tire out T cells

Sep 15, 2014

Leaky intestines may cripple bacteria-fighting immune cells in patients with a rare hereditary disease, according to a study by researchers in Lausanne, Switzerland. The study, published in The Journal of Experimental Me ...

T-bet tackles hepatitis

Sep 15, 2014

A single protein may tip the balance between ridding the body of a dangerous virus and enduring life-long chronic infection, according to a report appearing in The Journal of Experimental Medicine.

User comments : 0