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Soc Sci Med. 2012 Apr;74(7):1125-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.12.033. Epub 2012 Feb 4.

Aspirin use and cardiovascular events in social networks.

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  • 1Department of Sociology, University at Albany, State University of New York, 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12222, USA.


We tested whether friends' and family members' cardiovascular health events and also their own aspirin use are associated with the likelihood that an individual takes aspirin regularly. Analyses were based on longitudinal data on 2724 members of the Framingham Heart Study (based in Massachusetts, U.S.A.) who were linked to friends and family members who were also participants in the same study. Men were more likely to take aspirin if a male friend had recently been taking aspirin, and women were more likely to take aspirin if a brother had recently been taking aspirin. Men were also more likely to take aspirin if a brother recently had a cardiovascular event, and women were more likely to take aspirin if a female friend recently experienced a cardiovascular event. Aspirin use is correlated with the health and behavior of friends and family. These findings add to a growing body of evidence which suggests that behavioral changes that promote cardiovascular health may spread through social networks.

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