Features March 2008 Issue

Aspirin Therapy Benefits Outweigh Threat of ‘Aspirin Resistance’

Women appear more likely to be resistant, but more research is needed, and patients are advised to continue therapy as prescribed.

Some people who take aspirin for heart attack prevention may have "aspirin resistance," meaning that the drug does not thin their blood and thus prevent blood clots that could lead to heart attack or stroke. But it is not yet feasible to test everyone for this condition due to several factors, and experts advise that patients who are prescribed aspirin by their doctors continue to take it until more information becomes available. In a study of 987 patients with suspected heart disease who were seen in emergency departments, 10.3 percent were found to be aspirin resistant, according to a study in the October issue of Circulation. The exact reason for aspirin resistance is unknown, according to Kandice Marchant, MD, PhD, chair of the Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

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