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Low dose aspirin lowered stroke risk but not risks of MI or cardiovascular deaths in women

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 Q Is low dose aspirin effective for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease in women?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ IM/Ambulatory care ★★★★★☆☆ Neurology ★★★★★★☆ Haematology ★★★★★★☆


Embedded ImageDesign:

randomised, placebo controlled trial (Women’s Health Study).

Embedded ImageAllocation:


Embedded ImageBlinding:

blinded {healthcare providers, participants, data collectors, and outcome assessors}.*

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

mean 10 years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

USA and Puerto Rico.

Embedded ImageParticipants:

39 876 women ⩾45 years of age (mean age 55 y) who had no history of coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer (except non-melanoma skin cancer), or other major chronic illness; contraindication to the study medications; were not taking aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, or corticosteroids; and were not taking vitamin A or E, or ß carotene supplements more than once per week.

Embedded ImageIntervention:

aspirin, 100 mg every other day (n = 19 934) or placebo (n = 19 942).

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

first major cardiovascular event (non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, or cardiovascular death); individual cardiovascular endpoints; and adverse events.

Embedded ImagePatient follow up:

97% (intention to treat analysis).


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  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.

  • For correspondence: Dr J E Buring, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

  • Sources of funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and National Cancer Institute.

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