Close X
Get more out of WDDTY.com
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
OR

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.


Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

Subscribe!

Aspirin won't prevent stroke in heart patients
About the author: 

A recent study which claimed that aspirin was a useful prophylactic for stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (BMJ, 1999; 319: 958-64) has been resoundingly criticised by several medics

A recent study which claimed that aspirin was a useful prophylactic for stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation (BMJ, 1999; 319: 958-64) has been resoundingly criticised by several medics.

The study by Helle-mons et al concluded that aspirin was the prophylactic choice in primary care for atrial fibrillation if there was no clear indication for more powerful anticoagulants such as warfarin. However, a great deal of criticism has been levelled at the study's use of aspirin compared with low dose anticoagulant therapy, suggesting that Hellemons et al may have been comparing apples and oranges.

Simon Ellis, consultant neurologist at the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, suggested that the question asked by the researchers whether low anticoagulation or aspirin should be used was the wrong one to ask since aspirin is more reasonably compared with standard anticoagulation therapy.

Several others, including Andy Evans, clinical lecturer, Department of Stroke Medicine at Guy's, King's and St Thomas's School of Medicine, have commented that excluding patients with chronic heart failure and patients aged 78 years or over from the anticoagulation therapy limited the study's ability to correctly detect the number of events experienced by those on warfarin.

Finally, criticism was levelled at the selection method for the patients who participated in the study, as many low risk patients were included, again potentially confounding the results.

The furore over Hellemons et al's conclusions illustrate neatly the folly of uncritically embracing the results of every new study. Often, the conclusions of studies like these are taken on board as gospel for clinical practice (BMJ, 2000; 320: 1008-9).


You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet

About

Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved