Aspirin does not reduce risk of this heart disease

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Scientists from the University of British Columbia found that aspirin therapy, as opposed to statin use, for non-obstructive coronary artery disease does not reduce major cardiovascular events.

The research is published in Radiology: Cardiothoracic Imaging and was conducted by Jonathan Leipsic et al.

Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease, affecting roughly 6.7% of U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Coronary artery disease occurs when there is a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the heart.

Non-obstructive coronary artery disease occurs when there is less than 50% stenosis, or narrowing, of the coronary arteries due to plaque buildup.

Medications called statins are commonly prescribed for patients who are diagnosed with non-obstructive coronary artery disease.

Statins reduce the production of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and draw cholesterol out of plaque, therefore stabilizing the plaque and reducing the risk of it rupturing.

Aspirin is another drug that is commonly recommended.

In the study, the team used data from 6,386 patients including 3,571 (56%) who had no plaque and 2,815 (44%) who had non-obstructive coronary artery disease.

Patients with obstructive coronary artery disease that had 50% or greater stenosis were excluded. They were followed for about 6 years.

The team found that non-obstructive coronary artery disease was linked to a 10.6% risk of all-cause death compared to 4.8% in patients without plaque.

In people with nonobstructive coronary artery disease, aspirin therapy was not linked to a reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events.

Alternatively, statin use was linked to a big reduction in heart attack and death.

The team also says that neither aspirin nor statin therapy improved clinical outcomes for patients with no detectable plaque.

Aspirin therapy may still be beneficial in cases of high-risk plaque or high plaque burden.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies about food that could strongly increase heart disease risk, and common high blood pressure drugs may increase risk of this heart disease.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about a new early warning sign for heart disease, and results showing oranges and tangerines may help prevent diabetes, heart disease.

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