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[IP] RE: aspirin / High aspirin dosage may curb heart attack risk in diabetes

John Wrote:
 High aspirin dosage may curb heart attack risk in diabetes Increasing aspirin
dosage may help curb heart attack risk in patients with diabetes, according to
researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada. A researcher said those who
had daily doses of up to 325 milligrams of aspirin had 23% reductions in
cardiovascular-related mortality.

What do we do?

Ricardo Responds:
Hi John,

 Not to discredit the results, but I would use some caution in interpreting the
results of this study.

 This study did not actually run a controlled study that compared high dose
aspirin vs. low dose vs. no aspirin subjects. The study is a meta-analysis of
studies done over the last 30 or so years and so it is simply a statistical
analysis of data.

 A criticism of meta analysis is the lack of control for bias and confounders.
Were the high dose aspirin users more health conscious and therefore less
susceptible to CHD? Did they smoke less than the control group? How did their
body weight compare to a control group? What other medications did the high dose
subjects take? In addition, the conclusion seems to violate the basic scientific
principle that "correlation does not necessarily imply causation". Saying that
those who took high dose aspirin had less CHD mortality, therefore high dose
aspirin decreases CHD mortality is no more proof of theory than saying that
roosters crow before the sun rises, therefore roosters cause the sun to rise.

 It is also well known that CHD mortality has in general decreased over the 30
year time span of this study, yet CHD morbidity has increased. This study only
addresses a decrease in mortality, with no mention of morbidity. So the study
agrees with a general trend that was already in place, so the best we may be
able to say is that high dose aspirin is a contributing factor to decreasing
risk of dying from CHD, but not preventing CHD, which I am assuming is the
ultimate goal for most diabetics.

 The anti-inflammatory, blood thinning effects of aspirin are well known, but
long term high dose usage can have side effects in some people. Google can point
you to some more natural alternatives.

More on the study can be seen here:

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