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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  January 28, 2004
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Aspirin is the Way
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(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- New research shows aspirin is the most cost-effective way to prevent heart disease.

Researchers from the United Kingdom analyzed the cost effectiveness of aspirin, blood pressure-lowering drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and an anti-clotting medication in preventing heart disease. They then calculated the cost per coronary event for each treatment.

Results of the study show aspirin and blood pressure-lowering drugs are the most cost-effective preventive treatments. Researchers say the cost per cardiac event in patients with a 10 percent risk over five years was less than $6,100 for aspirin, between $21,000 and $32,000 for blood pressure-lowering medications, and more than $103,000 for cholesterol-lowering and anti-clotting drugs. Results also show aspirin costs less than a fifth as much per cardiac event than cholesterol lowering drugs in patients with a 5 percent, five-year coronary risk.

Researchers say aspirin and blood pressure-lowering medicines provide most of the benefits that the more expensive, cholesterol-lowering and anti-clotting drugs do. They say treating a patient with a five-year coronary risk of 7.5 percent with aspirin and low-cost blood pressure-lowering medications is more cost effective than treating a patient who has a 30 percent risk with a cholesterol-lowering drug.

Authors of the study conclude, "A more effective strategy would be to offer most men over 55 and most women over 65 aspirin than to give statins to a few high-risk patients."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: British Medical Journal, 2003;327:1264-1267

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