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GPs ‘should review low-dose aspirin’ in patients with type 2 diabetes

GPs have been advised to review any prescriptions of low-dose aspirin in patients with type 2 diabetes, after a large study found its use for primary prevention of vascular disease in such patients was associated with an increased risk of ischaemic stroke.

The Korean study, published in the journal Diabetology and Metabolic Syndrome, found patients with type 2 diabetes who took low-dose aspirin were 70% more likely to be admitted to hospital with ischaemic stroke than those who did not take aspirin.

Current NICE guidelines on type 2 diabetes still recommend low-dose aspirin for primary prevention in patients over 50, although evidence has failed to demonstrate its benefits outweigh harms, and the advice is likely to be dropped when the guidelines are updated, due later this summer.

Dr Colin Kenny, a GPSI in diabetes based in County Down, Northern Ireland, said the study ‘further questioned aspirin’s safety’ in this setting.

Dr Kenny wrote on the Primary Care Diabetes Society website: ‘These results suggest that low-dose aspirin use for the primary prevention of ischaemic stroke should be reconsidered in people with diabetes.’

Diabetol Metab Syndr 2015; 7: 8


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