The role of aspirin in women’s health
Freek WA Verheugt1, Antoinette C Bolte2
1Department of Cardiology, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis (OLVG), Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 2VU University Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Background: The aim of this review is to discuss the role of aspirin for various conditions in women.
Methods: A nonsystematic review of articles published on PubMed® that examines the role of aspirin in women.
Results: Aspirin is associated with a significant reduction of stroke risk in women, which may be linked to age. However, despite this evidence, underutilization of aspirin in eligible women is reported. In women of reproductive age, it may also have a role to play in reducing early-onset preeclampsia and intrauterine growth restriction, and in the prevention of recurrent miscarriage in women with antiphospholipid antibodies; it may also reduce cardiovascular risk in associated systemic conditions such as lupus. Aspirin may reduce colorectal cancer risk in women, but its role in breast cancer warrants further data from controlled trials.
Conclusions: The risk–benefit threshold for aspirin use in women has been established for several conditions. Reasons why women are less likely to be prescribed aspirin have not been established, but the overall underuse of aspirin in women needs to be addressed.
Keywords: CVD, cancer, menopause, preeclampsia
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