Aspirin use is associated with an increased risk of heart failure in people who have at least one predisposing factor for the condition, according to a new large scientific study, the first to make this association. These factors include smoking, obesity, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The effect of aspirin on heart failure has so far been a controversial issue. The researchers, led by Dr. Blerim Mutzaj of the German University of Freiburg, who published the study in the ESC Heart Failure magazine of the European Society of Cardiology, analyzed data on 30,827 people from Europe and the US, with an average age of 67 and with a relatively increased risk of developing heart failure.
7,700 (25%) were taking aspirin, while over a five-year period 1,330 people had heart failure. The analysis showed that those taking aspirin had a 26% higher risk of being diagnosed with heart failure. In people without cardiovascular disease the risk of heart failure due to aspirin use was increased by 27%.
“This is the first study to show that among people with at least one risk factor for heart failure, those who take aspirin are more likely to develop the condition later than those who do not take aspirin. “Although the findings need to be confirmed, they suggest that the possible link between aspirin and heart failure needs to be clarified.”
“Large international randomized clinical trials in adults at risk of heart failure are needed to verify these results. “Until then, our observations show that aspirin should be prescribed with caution to those who already have heart failure or risk factors for developing it.”