A regular strength aspirin taken every day reduces the number of episodes of restricted blood flow to the heart (coronary ischemia) experienced by people with cardiovascular disease, a Greek study shows.
The researchers found that the benefits of aspirin in reducing ischemia came about through the inhibition of various factors that promote blood-clot formation, including a substance called macrophage colony stimulating factor (MCSF).
These findings are “clinically relevant, as daily life ischemia and MCSF plasma concentrations, are both known to predict adverse outcomes” in individuals with chronic coronary artery disease (CAD), the investigators note in the medical journal Heart.
Dr. Ignatios Ikonomidis from the University of Athens and colleagues identified 40 people with chronic stable CAD who were seen to have periodic ischemia when they wore a heart monitor for 48 hours. They were then given either 300 milligrams of aspirin or an inactive placebo daily for 3 weeks, after which they were switched to the other treatment.
The total number of ischemic episodes fell from 339 during placebo treatment to 251 during aspirin treatment, and the total duration of these episodes fell from 1765 minutes to 1305 minutes.
Aspirin therapy also significantly reduced concentrations of key blood-clotting and inflammatory markers.