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Aspirin for the secondary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease

Author
Charles H Hennekens, MD, DrPH
Section Editors
Freek Verheugt, MD, FACC, FESC
Christopher P Cannon, MD
Deputy Editors
Howard Libman, MD
Gordon M Saperia, MD, FACC

INTRODUCTION

Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral artery disease, is the leading the cause of death in the United States (US) and most developed countries and is rapidly becoming the leading cause of death in the world. In 2014, in the US alone, CVD caused more than 900,000 deaths. The totality of evidence from basic research, clinical investigations, observational epidemiologic studies, and randomized trials has provided strong support for the net benefits of aspirin in decreasing the risk of CVD events in a wide range of patients [1].

The following groups of patients with established cardiovascular disease, or at high risk, benefit from aspirin for the prevention of new cardiovascular events:

Patients with acute coronary artery syndromes such as acute myocardial infarction (MI) and unstable angina to prevent recurrent events.

Patients with acute occlusive stroke.

Patients with stable cardiovascular disease, such as those with stable ischemic heart disease (including those who have undergone revascularization with coronary artery bypass graft surgery), stable peripheral artery disease, or carotid artery disease.

             

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Literature review current through: May 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 07, 2017.
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