Monday, June 01, 2009


Whenever I talk to GPs or lay people, it is often that I will be asked if they should be taking aspirin to prevent heart attacks, and why do we not ask the government to put a little aspirin in our drinking water, so that all of us would have a bit of aspirin everyday?
The latest meta-analysis of the use of aspirin in primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events, in the latest issue of Lancet, seem to caution against routine use of low dose aspirin. Prof Baigent of Oxford, conducted a meta-analysis of 110,000 subjects / patients in 23 clinical trials, 6 trials involving about 95,000 subjects without prior history of heart disease and 17 clinical trials involving about 17,000 patients with known heart disease. They found that in this first group ( the subjects with no known heart disease ), low dose aspirin reduced heart attacks and strokes by about a fifth with no significant reduction in cardiac deaths, but this was at a cost of about a third increase incidence of gastro-toxicity ( gastric side effects ). In the second group ( the 17,000 patients with known heart disease ), the cardiac event reduction was easily significant, with the usual rate of gastric upsets. The conclusion must be ( and this makes sense ) that the use of low dose aspirin should be individualised and obviously should be given to all who have had a cardiac event or stroke. In other words, low dose aspirin is beneficial in secondary prevention of cardiovascular events and strokes but not in primary prevention.
An aspirin a day may keep the cardiologist away, but may keep the gastroenterologist busy.

1 comment:

Brate said...

An excellent idea!! On first thought it sounds to be silly, but on the second one it seems to be quite effective and economical. Adding aspirin in drinking water can really help us to prevent heart diseases without even knowing that we are using it. As many people are dying only because of heart and stroke attacks, some noteworthy steps like this creating a pill to thwart heart attacks and strokes might be a boon for them who are on the verge of facing a heart attack. But sometimes people fail to understand and recognize the indications of pre-heart attack symptoms. Sometimes, a little knowledge regarding the immediate actions to be taken may help your near and dear ones to survive in such incidents. The response a person takes to treat a victim decides the probability of his/her survival. It’s been my personal experience fighting to survive against a heart attack. Because of having many heart problems, I was enrolled in a concierge Healthcare program from elite health. I was attacked by a severe heart attack in a party, luckily surrounded by many people. Some of the sudden changes in my body was recognized by me and anticipated immediately. I got a very severe chest pain which was almost unbearable for more than a minute. I got the suspicion that I might be having heart attack, and immediately called my physician on the phone, and explained my condition and its severity. Because of the immediate guidance, I was directed immediately to have an aspirin which I used to carry with me as prescribed by my physician. It was quite a frightening experience for me to face such a heart attack, but somehow I managed to be calm until 911 arrived. I was immediately taken to the nearest hospital, where already my physician were present and have got everything setup according to my medical history. And it was in some matter of seconds that everything was in control. A doctor, who already have the complete knowledge of the medical history and fitness of the person, extra ordinarily ameliorate your recovery process. Hence such a concierge level program from Elite health, helped me a save my life, like many others.