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Many postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease don't use lifesaving aspirin therapy

who were college educated were close to 40 percent more likely to be on aspirin therapy than those who did not have a college education. The older a woman was in the study, the more likely she was on aspirin therapy.

The researchers also found that 70 percent of the women taking aspirin were on the higher dose of 325 mg daily, when research suggests that 81mg is just as effective and has fewer side effects, Berger said.

Women who were on Medicaid were 40 percent less likely to be using aspirin therapy than those who were not on Medicaid. And black women were 33 percent less likely to use the therapy than white women.

"In the late 1980s, the federal government sought to eliminate such disparities between racial and socioeconomic groups, so to find that such a divide still exists illustrates the work that still needs to be done," he said.

Berger recommends that consumers get more involved in their health care. Women who have cardiovascular disease and are not taking aspirin therapy should talk with their physicians about the pros and cons of taking low-dose aspirin daily.

"Physicians need to be cognizant of these disparities. They must be mindful always of the patient and strive to treat each patient individually, without regard for the patient's socioeconomic status, insurance type or race," he said.


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Contact: Carole Bullock
carole.bullock@heart.org
214-706-1279
American Heart Association
18-Feb-2005


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