In people with an underlying risk factor for heart failure, aspirin should never be prescribed as it increases the risk of heart failure by as much as 26%. This finding was published in the ESC Heart Failure journal, which is affiliated with the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The underlying risk factors include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
This is a path-breaking study as it is the first to report how dangerous aspirin medication is to people having at least one risk factor of heart failure. Although the potentially dangerous link between aspirin consumption and heart failure has been unraveled, the finding needs to be backed up with substantial evidence that confirms the finding. The association of aspirin with heart failure can seem to be baffling to some medical researchers.
In the journal article, researchers explained how the incidence of heart failure was related to people with and without any heart ailment. Thereafter, they also assessed whether the use of a drug could lead to a new diagnosis of heart failure in people who have underlying risk factors. In this study, researchers investigated 30,827 patients with a risk factor for heart failure. These patients were from Western European countries and the US, that is, patients from the developed world.
The age of participants was at least 40 years and above, with the average age being 67 years. At the time of enrolment, they did not have any incidence of heart failure. Based on the usage of aspirin medication, the participants were divided into two groups: users and non-users. The patients who had the first incidence of heart failure were followed up, regardless of whether the attack was fatal or non-fatal as the incidence needed hospitalization.
About 34% of the participants were women. Nearly 25% of the participants were consuming aspirin, that is, 7698 patients in total. In the follow-up period of 5.3 years, heart failure occurred in about 1330 participants. The researchers investigated whether the use of aspirin was truly related to the incidence of heart failure in patients.
They also took into consideration several risk factors: gender, age, body mass index, smoking habit, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, creatinine levels, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc. Some of the other risk factors for heart failure included treatment of drugs inhibiting the levels of renin, angiotensin, and aldosterone, blockers of calcium channel, beta-blockers, diuretics, and drugs used to lower lipids. The researchers reported that the consumption of aspirin increased the risk of heart failure by about 26%.