Aspirin is often taken as a prophylactic. A study now shows that the drug significantly increases the risk of heart failure.
Sophia Antipolis (France). The acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) contained in aspirin has a blood-thinning, antipyretic and analgesic effect. Because the drug helps with high cholesterol levels, prevents thrombosis and cardiovascular disease and, according to a study by the University of Leiden, even reduces the risk of cancer, many people take aspirin regularly for longer periods of time.
In particular, however, the positive aspects of the drug on thrombosis and cardiovascular diseases are controversial in medicine. Some studies show reduced mortality and preventive effects; other studies have not shown any positive effects on cardiovascular diseases from taking aspirin. Some studies even found evidence that aspirin increased the risk of cardiovascular disease in some people. With heart failure (heart failure) is meant the strong decrease in the performance of the heart, due to fat deposits, narrowing of the coronary arteries and other factors.
Study examines effects on heart failure
Scientists from the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) have therefore carried out a study that uses health data from 30,827 test subjects from twelve countries to examine whether the drug actually increases the risk of heart failure. The subjects were 40 years or older and had at least one risk factor for heart failure such as smoking, being overweight, or high blood pressure. Almost a quarter of the test subjects also had a stroke, heart attack or cardiac arrhythmia in the past. At the beginning of the study, however, her heart was considered healthy again.
A quarter of the subjects stated that they took aspirin regularly during the study period. “This is the first study to examine the relationship between aspirin consumption and heart failure in people with and without a history of cardiovascular disease and with at least one risk factor,” explains Blerim Mujaj.
Significantly higher risk from aspirin
In the five years of follow-up, 1,330 subjects suffered heart disease that resulted in heart failure. People who took aspirin regularly were more represented. According to the study, your risk of heart failure is 26 percent higher. “Regardless of which data sets we used and how much we considered possible influencing factors, the risk of heart failure was always positively linked to aspirin intake,” the scientists explain.
Use aspirin carefully
“This is the first study that shows that taking aspirin has a clearly increased risk of heart failure in people with at least one risk factor,” explains Mujaj. The one in the trade magazine ESC Heart Failure According to its authors, the published study shows that the preventive intake of aspirin should be checked due to the possible risks.
“Our observations suggest that aspirin should be prescribed with caution, especially in patients with heart failure or risk factors. We now need large, randomized clinical trials with risk patients to verify the results, ”explains Mujaj.
ESC Heart Failure, doi: 10.1002/ehf2.13688