Are the current recommendations for the use of aspirin in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease applicable in low-income countries?
Received 27 April 2015
Accepted for publication 14 July 2015
Published 25 August 2015 Volume 2015:11 Pages 503—506
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 2
Editor who approved publication: Dr Daniel A. Duprez
Jean Jacques N Noubiap,1,2 Jobert Richie N Nansseu3,4
1Department of Medicine, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa; 2Medical Diagnostic Center, Yaoundé, Cameroon; 3Sickle Cell Disease Unit, Mother and Child Centre, Chantal BIYA Foundation, Yaoundé, Cameroon; 4Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Abstract: Although evidence has accumulated that long-term aspirin therapy is beneficial in secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), a lot of controversies persist regarding the benefit of aspirin use in primary prevention of CVD. In low-income countries (LIC) specifically, the decision to prescribe aspirin for primary CVD prevention is more problematic, as there is a dearth of evidence in this regard. Aspirin has been shown to have relative beneficial effects in preventing a first myocardial infarction, but not stroke. However, as stroke is the prevailing CVD in many LIC, especially in Africa, the benefit of aspirin in these settings is therefore questionable. Indeed, there is no published trial that has evaluated the benefits and risks of continuous aspirin therapy in populations of LIC. Furthermore, though cardiovascular risk assessment is crucial in decision-making for the use of aspirin in primary prevention of CVD, there are no risk assessment tools that have been validated in African populations. Studies are urgently warranted, to determine the usefulness of aspirin in primary prevention of CVD in low-income settings where the drug is highly available and affordable, as CVD is becoming the leading cause of deaths in LIC.
Keywords: aspirin, cardiovascular disease, primary prevention, low-income countries
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