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Aspirin 'prevents CHD from middle age'

By Nigel Praities

GPs should consider routine aspirin treatment for primary prevention of heart disease in all men over 48 years and all women over 57 years, say researchers.

In the first research of its kind in UK patients, the study looked at the risk-benefit ratio of aspirin in patients without cardiovascular disease or diabetes and applied a threshold of a CHD risk of greater than 10% for aspirin prophylaxis.

The researchers studied 12,000 patient records from UK general practice databases and found the CHD risk exceeded this threshold in men at age 47.8 years and in women at 57.3 years.

The research could have implications for the Government's vascular screening programme due to begin next year, where patients aged 40 to 74 will be targeted for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Iskandar Idris, consultant in diabetes at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust, said this research showed the vascular screening programme would target a population who would benefit from aspirin treatment to prevent CVD.

‘Aspirin is underutilised for cardiovascular prevention, this is for good reason because we need to balance the risks and benefits.

‘This research shows a routine age when aspirin should be considered, but of course GPs should still rely on meeting individual patients and discussing risk and benefits with them,' he said.

The research is published early online in Heart.

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