Aspirin to prevent another heart attack or stroke globally underused

Close up image of white aspirin pills on a blue background

Aspirin has been shown to be an effective option for reducing the risk of a second heart attack or stroke, but new research finds that, worldwide, aspirin is underused in this way, particularly in low-income countries. 

A study sought to better understand the current levels of aspirin use among people with a history of cardiovascular disease in 51 low-, middle- and high-income countries. Using self-reported surveys, the researchers found that less than half of eligible people in the study, including less than one-quarter in low- and lower-middle-income countries, took aspirin to prevent another heart attack or stroke. The findings also underscore health inequities worldwide, as high-income countries were shown to have a four-fold greater aspirin use versus low-income countries.

The NHLBI-funded study published in JAMA.