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Nearly half of people with diabetes are not using aspirin to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke

Survey results released today by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) found that nearly half (48%) of U.S. adults 40+ with diabetes are not utilizing aspirin therapy to reduce their risk of recurrent heart attack or stroke nor had they reported discussing such therapy with their healthcare provider. This population is at heightened risk of cardiovascular (CV) events, and therefore potential candidates for doctor-recommended aspirin therapy based on current American Diabetes Association and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines. The survey, which was conducted by Harris Interactive in collaboration with the ACPM, was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Bayer HealthCare, the makers of Bayer Aspirin.

Heart attack and stroke are the most life-threatening consequences of diabetes, occurring more than twice as often among people with diabetes than in those who do not have the disease , and accounting for approximately 65% of deaths in people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), a diagnosis of diabetes as an adult presents a similar level of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk as already having suffered a heart attack. The ADA recommends that aspirin be considered for use in the prevention of both first and recurrent CV events in patients with diabetes who have at least one additional risk factor. Additionally, the USPSTF recommends the consideration of low-dose aspirin in people whose five-year CHD risk exceeds 3%, a point at which the benefits of aspirin therapy are thought to outweigh the risks; the USPSTF recommendations also note that patients with diabetes appear to benefit "as much or more from aspirin as nondiabetic patients." Despite these treatment guidelines, the ACPM survey suggests that aspirin remains underutilized in people with diabetes, an issue that may be due in part to these individuals' tendency to underestimate their risk for a heart attack or stroke.


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Contact: Michael Barry
202-466-2044 x106
American College of Preventive Medicine
22-Nov-2005


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