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Study says 43% of US adults at risk of heart disease are not utilizing aspirin therapy

WASHINGTON, DC, January 25, 2005 Preliminary survey results released today by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) found that 43% of U.S. adults aged 40 and older who are at increased risk of cardiovascular (CV) events and therefore potential candidates for doctor-recommended aspirin therapy based on current American Heart Association guidelines are not utilizing aspirin therapy to reduce their risk of heart attack or stroke. Increased risk can be defined as 10% risk or greater of heart attack or stroke over 10 years. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive for the ACPM, was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Bayer Aspirin.

When using the American Heart Association guidelines as a reference1, the survey found that aspirin is underutilized by both men and women aged 40 and over who are at increased risk for heart disease, and that this underutilization may be due to their tendency to underestimate their risk for a heart attack. The results were drawn from a nationally representative survey of 1,299 U.S. adult consumers (647 men, 652 women) age 40 and over and 533 healthcare professionals. The on-line survey was designed to assess barriers, beliefs and behaviors related to adoption of cardiovascular event prevention strategies, with a particular focus on aspirin use and adherence2.

"The survey findings have profound implications for all Americans aged 40 and over who are at risk for heart disease," commented George K. Anderson, MD, MPH, past president of the ACPM. "Despite significant educational efforts in recent years to elevate awareness among professionals and consumers about the proven benefits of aspirin therapy in reducing the risk of heart attack and recurrent stroke in individuals at increased risk, there is still less than adequate utilization. While health professionals report that they are discussing aspirin's benefits with appropriate patients, not nearly enough moderate-to-high risk peo
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Contact: Jennifer Bretsch
jkb@acpm.org
202-466-2044
American College of Preventive Medicine
25-Jan-2005


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