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Review: aspirin reduces the incidence of coronary artery disease in people at risk

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 QUESTION: In people at risk, what is the effectiveness of aspirin for primary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD)?

Data sources

Randomised controlled trials from 1985 onward were identified by searching Medline with the terms cardiovascular disease and aspirin. Meta-analyses and review articles were also scrutinised.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they assessed the effectiveness of aspirin for primary prevention of CAD and assessed outcomes that included incidence of myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, all cardiovascular events (MI, stroke, and cardiovascular deaths), bleeding complications, and all-cause mortality.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on study sample size, patient characteristics, key components of the intervention, duration of intervention, and outcomes.

Main results

4 trials (48 540 patients) were included in the meta-analysis. 25 133 patients received aspirin, …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Professor L E Ramsay, Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK. Fax +44 (0) 114 272 1275.