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Aspirin use for secondary prevention low in stroke patients

International 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 their condition.

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 inhibitors.

“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.

PERSPECTIVE

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
Northwestern University

Disclosure: Dr. Alberts is a consultant for Pozen.

Twitter Follow CardiologyToday.com on Twitter.

International 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 their condition.

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 inhibitors.

“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.

PERSPECTIVE

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
Northwestern University

Disclosure: Dr. Alberts is a consultant for Pozen.

Twitter Follow CardiologyToday.com on Twitter.

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