Which women should take aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease?

April 1, 2007

It seems only those at high risk for stroke and at low risk for the adverse effects of aspirin (i.e., gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke), according to the results of a recent cost-utility analysis.

It seems only those at high risk for stroke and at low risk for the adverse effects of aspirin (i.e., gastrointestinal bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke), according to the results of a recent cost-utility analysis.

Researchers determined that aspirin costs $13,300 per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained in 65-year-old women with a moderate 10-year cardiovascular risk and that in these moderate-risk women, there is a 27% chance that aspirin will be less effective than no treatment.

Based on the results, preventive aspirin therapy is probably not appropriate for women at lower risk, including women 55 years and younger without additional stroke risk factors.