A Duke University study suggests aspirin significantly reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack or death due to cardiovascular disease in men and women.
But the Duke Medical Center meta-analysis of more than 95,000 patients found the major reasons for the risk reduction differed between the sexes. For men, aspirin lowered the risk of a heart attack, while in women aspirin reduced the risk of a stroke.
"Aspirin is a drug that has been used for many years -- it is well understood, effective, inexpensive and widely available," said Duke Cardiology Fellow Dr. Jeffrey Berger, first author of the study. He performed much of the research while at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City under senior author Dr. David Brown.
"While our analysis showed aspirin may have different effects in men and women, the relatively small number of heart attacks among women and strokes among men suggest more research is needed to better understand any differences in cardiovascular responses to aspirin."
The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: World's largest solar boat on Greek prehistoric mission