Speakers highlight the efficacy of Low Dose Aspirin therapy in various well established indications


 Aspirin Update seminar at PHL Symposium
Speakers highlight the efficacy of Low
Dose Aspirin therapy in various well
established indications
This economically priced anti-platelet agent reduces
morbidity and mortality in many medical disorders

HYDERABAD: As a part of its Continuing Medical Education programme, Pakistan Aspirin Foundation organized a breakfast session during the recently held 16th annual symposium of Pakistan Hypertension League at Hyderabad on February 9th 2013. It was chaired by Prof. Nazeer Ahmad Memon along with Dr. Fazalur Rehman Memon and Dr. Shahbaz Kureshi, consultant cardiologist at Red Crescent Institute of Cardiology at Hyderabad and Central Government Polyclinic at Islamabad respectively. Prof. Mohammad Akbar Chaudhry an eminent physician/cardiologist and President of Pakistan Aspirin Foundation who is also Principal of Azra Nahid Medical College Lahore was the main speaker.

Pakistan Aspirin Foundation organized an Update on Aspirin at the
recently held annual symposium of Pakistan Hypertension League
at Hyderabad. Picture shows Prof. Nazeer Memon along with
Dr. Fazalur Rehman Memon and Dr. Shahbaz Kureshi chairing a session.

In his brief introductory presentation, Prof. Akbar Chaudhry talked about the burden of diseases in the world in general and Asia in particular. Apart from communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, he said, have also assumed epidemic form. Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes mellitus apart from Cancer account for millions of deaths worldwide. Most of the deaths in Asia and developing countries, he said, were due to hypertension and diabetes which are both preventable to a great extent if we adopt healthy lifestyle and use balanced diet. He laid emphasis on control of modifiable risk factors like low intake of salt, control of high blood pressure, reduction in cholesterol, TGs, controlling obesity and avoiding smoking etc. Safety and efficacy of Low Dose Aspirin therapy has been documented in numerous studies which shows that it is reduces morbidity and mortality. Some of the well established indications for Aspirin therapy include Acute Myocardial Infarction, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Secondary prevention of AMI, Primary prevention of CAD, Acute Ischemic Strokes, Transient Ischemic Attacks, Primary and secondary prevention of strokes, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, prophylaxis against deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. In addition there are numerous emerging indications for use of Aspirin like colorectal cancer etc.

Pakistan Aspirin Foundation organized an Update on Aspirin during the recently held PHL
symposium at Hyderabad on February 9th 2013. Picture taken on this occasion shows from
(L to R) Dr. Shaukat Malik presenting mementoe to Prof. Nazeer Memon, Prof. M. Akbar
Chaudhry President of PAF (keynote speaker) and Prof. M. Ishaq presenting mementoe
to Dr. Shahbaz Kureshi.

A study conducted by Pakistan Aspirin Foundation many years ago had showed that only 50% of ACS patients were prescribed Aspirin at discharge, only 20.8% of Family Physicians prescribed aspirin to their patients while 16% got aspirin at home when they had chest pain. However, ever since the awareness campaign and CME programmes started by Pakistan Aspirin Foundation, the use of Aspirin has increased to a great extent. Enteric coated Aspirin tablets, it was stated are safe in long term use.
Participating in the discussion Dr. Shaukat Malik from Islamabad stated that he was taking Aspirin for the last twenty five years. He advised his colleagues to promote the use of Aspirin therapy in its well established indications. Prof. M. Ishaq President of PHL and Director of KIHD opined that it was a pity that despite its usefulness, Aspirin was still under used. It can be life saving if the patient takes one full tablet of Aspirin 325mg or uses soluble Aspirin immediately when they experience chest pain. Prof. Feroze Memon pointed out that Aspirin was an effective therapy in acute coronary syndromes and its use need to be promoted. One of the family physicians referred to its anti-analgesic and anti-pyretic properties. At this it was stated that in the beginning it was used as anti-pyretic, analgesic agent but Aspirin became more popular when its anti-platelet activity was proved and now it is widely used all over the world. Prof. Waris Qidwai Head of the Dept. of Family Medicine at Aga Khan University said that the Family Physicians are the first one who come in contact with the patients, it is essential that they prescribe this extremely useful and life saving drug to their patients when indicated.
Dr. Shahbaz Kureshi referred to the use of low dose Aspirin therapy after interventional cardiac procedures, angioplasty, stenting where it is very useful. He also remarked that Aspirin has shown to reduce colorectal cancer in numerous new studies as well. Dr. Fazalur Rehman Memon also highlighted the usefulness of Aspirin therapy. Prof. Nazir Ahmad Memon in his concluding remarks thanked the guest speaker Prof. Akbar Chaudhry for his excellent review and presentation on use of Aspirin therapy. He also commended the efforts of Pakistan Aspirin Foundation to educate the healthcare professionals in the use of this extremely useful anti-platelet agent.
Earlier Mr. Shaukat ‘Ali Jawaid Secretary General of Pakistan Aspirin Foundation who moderated the session stated that Guidelines on the use of Aspirin were now being revised. It has major emphasis on assessment of risk factors. A draft has already been prepared by Prof. Abdus Samad and Prof. Ejaz Ahmad Vohra and Prof. Akbar Chaudhry. We have had very useful comments and suggestions from Prof. Mahmud Ahmad Akhtar former Surgeon General of Pakistan Army. The draft guidelines have also been reviewed by Prof. Khawar Kazmi Head of the dept. of cardiology at Aga Khan University. It has also been forwarded to Dr. Basheer Haneef consultant cardiologist at Taba Heart Institute for his input. We hope to finalize these guidelines in a month’s time when it will be upload on the Pakistan Aspirin Foundation website. As regards use of Aspirin in Primary prevention, he said the results of ARRIVE study which has enrolled over twelve thousand patients in five countries will be available by the end of this Year. It will provide an evidence based information on its use in primary prevention. He also thanked M/s Atco Laboratories who have been sponsoring these CME programmes all over the country for the last many years. However, upholding professional ethics, we do not patronize or promote any particular brand of Aspirin, he remarked.