Aspirin use linked to increased risk of heart failure

January 21, 2022
Aspirin use linked to increased risk of heart failure

Research has found those using aspirin while having at least one predisposing risk for heart failure are at 26% raised risk for the condition. The predisposing risk factors included one or more of the following: smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Over 30,000 participants enrolled into the Heart ‘Omics’ in AGEing (HOMAGE) study, whose database is constructed and stored at the Studies Coordinating Centre in Leuven, Belgium. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between aspirin and heart failure incidence in people with and without heart disease; and assess whether using the aspirin is related to a new heart failure diagnosis in those at risk.

“This is the first study to report that among individuals with a least one risk factor for heart failure, those taking aspirin were more likely to subsequently develop the condition than those not using the medication,” said Dr. Blerim Mujaj of the University of Freiburg, Germany. “While the findings require confirmation, they do indicate that the potential link between aspirin and heart failure needs to be clarified.”

Adult participants of the study were free of heart failure at baseline, with only 25% of participants taking aspirin. Aspirin use was recorded at enrolment and participants were classified as users or non-users. Participants were also followed-up (5.3 years) for the first incidence of fatal or non-fatal heart failure requiring hospitalisation – 1,330 participants developed heart failure.

The researchers assessed the association between aspirin use and incident heart failure after adjusting for several factors and found that taking aspirin was independently associated with 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 cardiovascular disease, aspirin use was associated with a 27% increased risk of incident heart failure.

“This was the first large study to investigate the relationship between aspirin use and incident heart failure in individuals with and without heart disease and at least one risk factor,” said Dr. Mujaj. “Aspirin is commonly used – in our study one in four participants were taking the medication. In this population, aspirin use was associated with incident heart failure, independent of other risk factors.”

“[But} large multinational randomised trials in adults at risk for heart failure are needed to verify these results. Until then, our observations suggest that aspirin should be prescribed with caution in those with heart failure or with risk factors for the condition.”

Read: Aspirin potentially dangerous for those over 70, study warns

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Category: Features, Health alert

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