“Our findings suggest that not taking aspirin as prescribed after a heart attack is linked to an increased risk of having another heart attack, stroke, or dying,” said study author Dr. Anna Meta Kristensen of Bispebjerg Hospital. and Frederiksberg, Denmark.
The study used data from Danish national health registries, including patients aged 40 or older who had a first heart attack between 2004 and 2017, were treated with a coronary stent, and took aspirin as prescribed during the first year after the heart attack.
Aspirin adherence was assessed two, four, six, and eight years after the heart attack.
The proportion of days that patients took their pills during the previous two years was used to calculate aspirin adherence at each of the four time points.
According to the study, patients who took aspirin 80 percent or less of the time were considered non-adherent (that is, they did not take aspirin as prescribed), while those who took aspirin more than 80 percent of the time were considered adherents (i.e., who took aspirin more than 80 percent of the time). aspirin as prescribed).
“We evaluated the effects of long-term aspirin use in patients who were not receiving other medications for heart attack or stroke prevention,” Kristensen said.
The study included 40,114 patients with a first heart attack. Aspirin adherence decreased progressively at each time point, from 90 percent at two years after the heart attack to 84 percent at four years, 82 percent at six years, and 81 percent at eight years.
Researchers investigated whether patients who did not take aspirin as prescribed had a higher risk of the composite outcome of recurrent heart attack, stroke, or death compared to those who took aspirin consistently.
Patients who took aspirin as prescribed were less likely to experience the composite outcome than patients who were nonadherent at each time point, according to the study.
Compared with adherent patients, nonadherent patients were 29 percent, 40 percent, 31 percent and 20 percent more likely to have a recurrent heart attack, stroke or die within two, four, six and eight years after the heart attack. respectively.