Aspirin use not seen linked to stroke severity
When a stroke occurs, its severity does not seem to be related to whether the patient had be taking aspirin previously or not, according to a large, international study.
“Several reports have suggested that patients who have (a) stroke while taking aspirin have less severe strokes than those not on such pretreatment, whereas others have suggested either no effect or an increase of stroke severity,” Dr. Stefano Ricci, of UOCD Neurologia e Ictus, Perugia, Italy, and colleagues write in the medical journal Stroke.
To investigate further, they examined the effects of previous aspirin use on the severity of stroke in patients who were enrolled in the International Stroke Trial, which tested the benefits of different treatments after a stroke.
The researchers assessed the association between the severity of stroke right after it occurred, and the use of aspirin 3 days before the stroke.
Out of 17,850 stroke patients, 3820 reported previous aspirin use and 14,030 did not.
A first glance, it looked like previous aspirin use was tied to greater stroke severity. However, after factoring in sex, age, stroke type and atrial fibrillation, the researchers saw that there was no significant relationship between stroke severity and previous aspirin use.
“The analyses suggest that previously reported positive and negative associations may well have been attributable to the play of chance in small samples, confounding or other biases,” Ricci’s team concludes.
SOURCE: Stroke, July 2006.
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