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Aspirin Use Among Adults Aged 40 and Older in the United States

Results of a National Survey

      Background

      Aspirin is effective for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events, but its use has been suboptimal.

      Methods

      Investigators performed a nationally representative Internet-based survey of U.S. consumers aged 40 and older using online databases maintained by Harris Interactive® to measure use of aspirin for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention and factors associated with its use. Respondents reported whether they used aspirin therapy regularly for cardiovascular prevention; and provided information about their cardiovascular risk factors, discussions with their healthcare provider about aspirin therapy, and their perceptions about risks and benefits of aspirin. Objective risk of cardiovascular events was estimated using counts of self-reported risk factors. Survey results were weighted to be representative of the general U.S. population. Researchers performed bivariate and multivariate analyses to understand factors associated with aspirin use.

      Results

      A total of 1299 adults aged 40 or older completed the survey. Mean age was 55.9, 53% were women, 79% self-identified as white, 10% African American, and 9% Latino. Current regular aspirin use for CVD prevention was reported by 41% of respondents. The factor most strongly associated with aspirin use was reporting a previous conversation with a healthcare provider about aspirin (88% aspirin use among respondents reporting such discussion versus 17% who did not report discussion; odds ratio 36.6, 95% confidence interval 25.9–51.7).

      Conclusions

      Aspirin use is low, even among patients at increased risk. Better provider–patient communication about aspirin prevention is associated with greater use, and should be a target for future interventions.
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