A new study published in ESC Heart Failure suggests that aspirin use may be associated with a 26% increased risk of heart failure in people with at least one predisposing factor for the condition.
This is the first study to find that aspirin use in individuals with at least one risk factor for heart failure may cause serious complications.
The influence of aspirin on heart failure has been controversial, but this study aimed to evaluate its relationship with a new heart failure diagnosis in those at risk. The study included 30,827 participants at risk for developing heart failure who were enrolled from Western Europe in the US into the HOMAGE study.
Participants who were “at-risk” were defined as falling into one or more of the following categories: obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. All participants were aged 40 years and above and free of heart failure at the start of the study.
Aspirin use was recorded by individuals at enrollment, and participants were classified as either users or nonusers. They were then followed up for the first incidence of fatal or non-fatal heart failure requiring hospitalization.
During the 5.3-year follow-up, researchers found that 1,330 participants had developed heart failure. After adjusting for risk factors, investigators assessed the association between aspirin use and incident heart failure. They found that taking aspirin was independently associated with a 26% raised risk of a new heart failure diagnosis.
The First Large Scale Study
Study author Dr. Blerium Mujaj said, “This was the first large-scale study to investigate the relationship between aspirin use and incident heart failure in individuals with and without heart disease and at least one risk factor. Aspirin is commonly used – in our study, one in four participants were taking the medication. In this population, aspirin use was associated with incident heart failure, independent of other risk factors.”
Researchers concluded that larger multinational and randomized trials are needed to verify these results. However, until then, they suggest that aspirin should be prescribed with caution in those with heart failure or with risk factors for the condition.