A study published in the American Heart Association s journal, Circulation, by an Australian group shows a large degree of protection against recurrent venous thromboses (leg vein clots) among aspirin users.
The study is actually comprised of two separate studies by the same authors: the ASPIRE and WARFASA study results were combined by Dr. John Simes of the University of Sydney, Australia, who led an international group in assembling data from the combined studies: the INSPIRE (International Collaboration of Aspirin Trials for Recurrent Venous Thromboembolism) report is the current one under discussion.
Among a combined total of 1224 patients, the crude rate of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) was 15.8% over a median follow-up of 30 months. Patients were on their assigned treatment for a median of two years in the modified intention-to-treat analysis. In a similarly adjusted subgroup analysis, the risks of deep venous thrombosis (vein clots, DVT) and of pulmonary embolism (clots traveling to the lungs, a dangerous condition) in patients on aspirin were reduced by 37% each, highly significant statistically. After further adjustment for patient compliance with treatment, the risk of VTE recurrence was reduced by 42% for those who received aspirin.
ACSH s Dr. Gil Ross had this comment: If these results can be independently replicated, it would amount to a major advance in the prevention of potentially deadly venous thromboemboli. Aspirin is not completely safe, of course, and medical evaluation is still required. But the standard anticoagulants, warfarin and its successors these latter drugs admittedly safer are still more dangerous than aspirin as far as bleeding complications are concerned. Let s hope that in the near future we can add protection from clots and emboli to the long list of aspirin s benefits.