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Aspirin for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease

Shamir R. Mehta, MD, MSc
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From McMaster University, Hamilton General Hospital, Hamilton, Ontario L8L 2X2, Canada.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Shamir R. Mehta, MD, MSc, McMaster University, Hamilton General Hospital, 237 Barton Street East, Hamilton, Ontario L8L 2X2, Canada; e-mail: smehta@mcmaster.ca.

Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(6):414-416. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-150-6-200903170-00011
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Millions of persons worldwide take aspirin on a daily basis for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Aspirin inhibits platelets by irreversibly inactivating cyclooxygenase-1, thereby blocking the generation of thromboxane A2, a potent vasoconstrictor and platelet agonist. Despite decades of research, some fundamental questions about aspirin have yet to be definitively answered. In this issue, 2 studies (12) shed light on 2 of these key questions: What is the optimal dose of aspirin to administer to patients for secondary prevention and treatment of established cardiovascular disease and in whom, and when should aspirin be used for prevention of cardiovascular events in persons with no history of cardiovascular disease (primary prevention)?

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