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Can Fam Physician. 2013 Jan;59(1):55-61.

Family practice patients' use of acetylsalicylic acid for cardiovascular disease prevention.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, 1706 College Plaza, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8. mkolber@ualberta.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) use among family practice patients and the proportions of patients using ASA for primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional, self-reported, waiting room questionnaire.

SETTING:

Two family medicine clinics in Alberta.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients 50 years of age and older.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Overall prevalence of ASA use, proportion of ASA use for primary or secondary cardiovascular prevention, ASA use by patient age and sex, the proportion of patients who initiated ASA therapy on the advice of a physician, adverse events, and patient beliefs about ASA therapy.

RESULTS:

A total of 807 patients completed the questionnaire; the response rate was 89.1%. Overall, 39.8% of patients reported taking ASA regularly. Of those who took ASA, 87.0% did so for cardiovascular prevention (53.1% for primary prevention and 46.9% for secondary prevention). Of patients taking ASA for primary prevention, 62.8% did so upon the advice of their family physicians. Patients who took ASA believed that the benefits of taking ASA outweighed the risks; those who did not take ASA were unsure of the benefit-to-risk profile.

CONCLUSION:

Many family practice patients take ASA, and more than half of those taking ASA take it for primary cardiovascular prevention. Family physicians appear to have an influence on patients' decisions to take ASA. Educating family physicians and patients about the potential benefits and risks of ASA therapy would help promote the use of ASA in those who might receive the greatest overall benefit.

PMID:
23341662
PMCID:
PMC3555659
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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