In a study from the University of Freiburg, scientists found aspirin use is linked to a 26% raised risk of heart failure in people with at least one predisposing factor for the condition.
Predisposing factors included smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.
The influence of aspirin on heart failure is controversial.
In the study, researchers used data from 30,827 people at risk for developing heart failure.
“At risk” was defined as one or more of the following: smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.
Participants were aged 40 years and above and free of heart failure before the study. Aspirin use was recorded at enrolment and participants were classified as users or non-users.
Participants were followed up for the first incidence of heart failure requiring hospitalization.
The average age of participants was 67 years and 34% were women. Before the study, a total of 7,698 participants (25%) were taking aspirin. During the 5-year follow-up, 1,330 participants developed heart failure.
The team found taking aspirin was linked to a 26% raised risk of a new heart failure diagnosis.
To check the consistency of the results, the researchers repeated the analysis after matching aspirin users and non-users for heart failure risk factors.
In this matched analysis, aspirin was linked to a 26% raised risk of a new heart failure diagnosis.
To check the results further, the analysis was repeated after excluding patients with a history of cardiovascular disease.
In 22,690 participants (74%) free of heart disease, aspirin use was linked to a 27% increased risk of incident heart failure.
The team says aspirin is commonly used—in this study one in four participants were taking the medication. In this population, aspirin use was linked to incident heart failure, independent of other risk factors.
The findings suggest that aspirin should be prescribed with caution in those with heart failure or with risk factors for the condition.
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The study was conducted by Dr. Blerim Mujaj et al and published in ESC Heart Failure.
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