Women, aspirin and heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, and evidence-based national guidelines promote the use of daily aspirin for women at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. However, less than half of the women who could benefit from aspirin are taking it, according to an article  available free online at the Journal of Women’s Health website*.

“Based on this survey, it is evident that the majority of women for whom aspirin is recommended for prevention of cardiovascular disease are not following national guidelines,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD,  Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health.

Among more than 200,000 women participating in a web-based survey to assess their risk for cardiovascular disease, only 41%-48% of women for whom aspirin is recommended reported that they took an aspirin daily, according to the study authors, Cathleen Rivera, MD and Texas-based colleagues. The women were more likely to use aspirin if they had a family history of cardiovascular disease or had high cholesterol, as reported in the article “Underuse of Aspirin for Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Events in Women.” The authors conclude that improved educational programs are needed to increase awareness of the benefits of aspirin use to prevent heart disease among women.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News  “Should More Women Take A Daily Aspirin To Prevent Heart Disease?.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 9 Apr. 2012. Web.
12 Apr. 2012.