Stroke Conference 2012
NEW ORLEANS — Approximately 40% of stroke survivors do not take daily aspirin,
according to survey results presented at the American Stroke Association’s
International Stroke Conference.
Despite recent American Heart Association guidelines advising
aspirin use for secondary prevention in patients who
experienced a stroke, these new data show that aspirin use among stroke
patients is low.
More than 23,000 US households with an individual or caretaker of an
individual who had experienced stroke or MI completed an Internet-based
questionnaire in December 2009 to determine aspirin use among patients who
experienced stroke or MI. Researchers performed a random sampling of 1,579
households to obtain 500 participants with previous stroke only or stroke plus
MI and 500 participants with previous MI only currently taking aspirin for
Overall, researchers found aspirin was used for secondary prevention in
59% of stroke participants vs. 83% of MI participants. Ninety-one percent of
stroke or MI participants reported taking aspirin as recommended by their
physician, according to the study results. Taking 81 mg of aspirin once daily
was the most common dosing regimen, followed by 325 mg once daily.
In addition, 30% to 40% of patients taking aspirin were on proton pump
“This study was an attempt to determine what patients do with
aspirin and how they manage it, as opposed to asking their doctors. We wanted
to look at it from a different perspective,” John Fort, MD, chief medical
officer at Pozen, told Cardiology Today.
These findings are similar to results of an Agency for Healthcare
Research and Quality survey from 2000 to 2006 that found 43% of stroke
survivors did not take daily aspirin.
“Aspirin has been shown in many studies, large and small, to
provide a benefit for people who need antiplatelet therapy for secondary
prevention. However, there are still patients who are not taking aspirin and
are not following guidelines from professionals about the use of aspirin for
the prevention of MI and stroke,” Fort said.
The researchers concluded that the results signal a need for continued
effort to address the underutilization of aspirin in this patient population.
– by Casey Murphy
For more information:
Disclosure: Dr. Fort is an employee of Pozen.
We know a lot of people are not taking aspirin who should be taking aspirin. There are various reasons for why that may be the case. I believe that this study, which was based on data from thousands of patients, confirm that aspirin is potentially underused in a population of patients that should be taking aspirin. This is something that we need to be aware of in terms of making sure that patients get the right treatment to prevent another stroke or MI. This underuse of aspirin or the fact that patients may have stopped using aspirin for various reasons is a common phenomenon.
– Mark J. Alberts, MD
Professor of Neurology
Disclosure: Dr. Alberts is a consultant for Pozen.