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In a report given at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2005, researchers concluded that aspirin can significantly reduce death rates for postmenopausal women with cardiovascular disease (CVD). According to Jeffery S. Berger, MD, lead author and cardiology fellow at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC, "Women with CVD should be on aspirin unless there is a medical contraindication."
Data from 8928 women with CVD who were enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study were used for the analysis. Among these women, 46% reported taking aspirin; of this group, 30% were taking 81 mg and 70% were taking 325 mg. After 6.5 years of participating in the study, 956 of the women with CVD had died. The women taking aspirin had a 17% reduction in death from all causes, and a 25% lower death rate from heart disease, researchers said.
For the prevention of cardiovascular events, both doses of aspirin were associated with an 11% reduction of stroke and other events. Researchers noted no significant difference between the effectiveness of the dosage amounts. They also noted that these results only apply to postmenopausal women, and may not apply to younger women with CVD.