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Daily Aspirin Useless in Preventing Heart Attacks in Diabetics

Sunday, March 29, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: aspirin, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) Taking aspirin daily has no effect on the risk of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics and should no longer be recommended as a routine medical practice, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Dundee, Scotland, and published in the "British Medical Journal.

"We found no evidence to support the use of either aspirin or antioxidants in the primary prevention of cardiovascular events and mortality in people with diabetes," the researchers wrote.

Researchers assigned 1,276 diabetic women and men with no history or symptoms of cardiovascular disease to take either aspirin, an antioxidant or a placebo once per day. After eight years, they found no difference in the rate of heart attacks and strokes between the three groups.

Prior research has indicated that a regular dose of aspirin can reduce the risk of cardiovascular events by 25 percent in people with coronary artery disease or a history of heart attack or stroke. Because diabetes is regarded as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and 80 percent of diabetics die of cardiovascular causes, many doctors and professional organizations have also begun recommending treatment of diabetics with aspirin in recent years.

Aspirin can have serious side effects, however, such as gastrointestinal bleeding.

"We have gotten a bit ahead of ourselves with aspirin," lead researcher Jill Belch said. "We need to think again about using it for primary prevention."

The study was welcomed by clinical pharmacology expert Peter Sever of Imperial College London.

"It confirms many concerns we have that aspirin is very widely used in the general population without an evidence base to support its overall benefits," Sever said. "Thousands of people buy aspirin over the counter -- I'm forever saying to patients you shouldn't be taking this. I have had a couple of patients admitted to hospital with major gastrointestinal bleeding when there was no evidence it was doing any good."

Sources for this story include: www.reuters.com; news.bbc.co.uk.

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