Taking Aspirin for preventing heart attack may not be a good idea always, suggest researchers. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also questioned the efficacy of aspirin in preventing first heart attack or stroke in people who have never had cardiovascular problems.
The researchers have now developed a simple test that can measure plaque in arteries of heart of the patients and decide whether they should be on aspirin therapy or not. This device helps doctors better determine the efficacy of aspirin therapy in accordance with the patient’s health condition.
According to the researchers, the device will calculate the patient’s coronary artery calcium (CAC) score. This score is a measurement of plaque in the arteries that feed the heart. This will decide whether or not the patient is a good candidate for aspirin.
Michael D. Miedema from Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, US, said, “Many heart attacks and strokes occur in individuals who do not appear to be at high risk. Individuals with known CVD (cardiovascular disease) should take a daily aspirin, but the best approach for individuals without known CVD is unclear.”
“If we only treat high-risk individuals with aspirin, we are going to miss a substantial portion of patients who eventually suffer heart attacks.” Miedema said further.
Health experts said, aspirin therapy helps in reducing the clumping action of the platelets which may help in preventing heart attack. However, they warn there may be serious side effects from daily use of aspirin, including internal bleeding.
Aspirin is widely used by patients for primary prevention of heart related issues. Many cardiologists and physicians recommend the drug for some of their patients.
The American Heart Association currently supports the use of aspirin for primary prevention when recommended by a physician in high risk patients.
The study has been published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.