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BMJ. 2011 Jul 19;343:d4094. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d4094.

Discontinuation of low dose aspirin and risk of myocardial infarction: case-control study in UK primary care.

Author information

1
Spanish Centre for Pharmacoepidemiologic Research, Madrid, Spain. lagarcia@ceife.es

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the risk of myocardial infarction and death from coronary heart disease after discontinuation of low dose aspirin in primary care patients with a history of cardiovascular events.

DESIGN:

Nested case-control study.

SETTING:

The Health Improvement Network (THIN) database in the United Kingdom.

PARTICIPANTS:

Individuals aged 50-84 with a first prescription for aspirin (75-300 mg/day) for secondary prevention of cardiovascular outcomes in 2000-7 (n=39,513).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Individuals were followed up for a mean of 3.2 years to identify cases of non-fatal myocardial infarction or death from coronary heart disease. A nested case-control analysis assessed the risk of these events in those who had stopped taking low dose aspirin compared with those who had continued treatment.

RESULTS:

There were 876 non-fatal myocardial infarctions and 346 deaths from coronary heart disease. Compared with current users, people who had recently stopped taking aspirin had a significantly increased risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction or death from coronary heart disease combined (rate ratio 1.43, 95% confidence interval 1.12 to 1.84) and non-fatal myocardial infarction alone (1.63, 1.23 to 2.14). There was no significant association between recently stopping low dose aspirin and the risk of death from coronary heart disease (1.07, 0.67 to 1.69). For every 1000 patients, over a period of one year there were about four more cases of non-fatal myocardial infarction among patients who discontinued treatment with low dose aspirin (recent discontinuers) compared with patients who continued treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Individuals with a history of cardiovascular events who stop taking low dose aspirin are at increased risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction compared with those who continue treatment.

PMID:
21771831
PMCID:
PMC3139911
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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