Aspirin use among adults with diabetes: many miss out on effective and inexpensive therapy.
Despite high cardiovascular risk among adults with diabetes mellitus, aspirin use has been low. To assess recent self-reported regular aspirin use among adults 35 years or older with diabetes, the researchers used statewide (Chicago, USA) telephone surveys conducted in 7 states in 1997 and 20 states in 1999 and 2001 including 875, 3205, and 4272 subjects in 1997, 1999, and 2001, respectively.
The found that aspirin use increased from 37.5% in 1997 to 48.7% in 2001. In 2001, 74.2% of diabetic adults with cardiovascular disease, but only 37.9% of those without cardiovascular disease, used aspirin regularly, including less than 40% with diagnosed hypertension or hypercholesterolemia or who smoked. After adjusting for cardiac risk factors and socioeconomic characteristics, among those without cardiovascular disease, aspirin use was less common in women aged 35 to 49 years (adjusted rate ratio [RR], 0.35) and 50 to 64 years (RR, 0.69) and in men aged 35 to 49 years (RR, 0.62) compared with men 65 years and older. For those with diagnosed cardiovascular disease, aspirin use was lower among women (RR, 0.81 compared with men) and adults younger than 50 years (RR compared with those 65 years, 0.81). The disparity in aspirin use between men and women appeared between 1997 and 2001.
The researchers concluded: "Aspirin use among adults with diabetes has increased. However, many high-risk individuals, especially women and those younger than 50 years, do not use this effective and inexpensive therapy."
Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:2492-2499 December 13/27 2004