CAC scores may help predict benefit from daily Aspirin therapy

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CAC scores may help predict 
benefit from daily Aspirin therapy

Medscape reports that research published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes suggests that “predicted benefit from daily aspirin therapy for primary prevention exceeds risk when coronary artery calcium (CAC) imaging scores reach or exceed 100, whereas the risks surpass benefits at a CAC score of 0, in both cases regardless of risk by Framingham criteria.” Individuals “with CAC scores of 0 or >100 accounted for three-fourths of the ethnically diverse (only 37% white) population of >4200 nondiabetic persons not on aspirin at baseline.”
According to yet another report FDA is warning that a daily dose is not for everyone, and taking aspirin needlessly may actually put them at significant risk.” The report pointed out the agency is now “reminding consumers there are risks associated with taking aspirin.” NBC Dr. Steven Nissen of Cleveland Clinic, said, “If you have a low risk of a heart attack, you’re not going to get much benefit from the aspirin, but you will have the bleeding risk.”
FDA has disclosed aspirin “generally shouldn’t be used to prevent heart attacks or stroke for patients with no history of the disease.” The agency noted in a statement that the use of the painkiller “raises serious risks of bleeding in the stomach and brain.” The article noted the FDA’s words of caution follow its denial of request from Bayer AG “to change the labeling on its packaging to market the product for heart-attack prevention for patients with no history of cardiovascular disease.”
The recommendation for the use of therapeutic aspirin still remains the same – “it should be used only in people at high risk for heart attack and stroke, and then only under a doctor’s care.” Robert Temple, the FDA’s deputy director for clinical science, said, “You should use daily aspirin therapy only after first talking to your health care professional, who can weigh the risks and benefits.” According to Richard Chazal, vice president of the American College of Cardiology, people should avoid taking daily aspirin just because they consider it is good for their health.

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