Aspirin can prevent heart attacks

Washington: Aspirin can prevent heart attacks, both in high and low doses, says a new study.

The World Health Organisation`s latest figures show that 17 million people die every year from cardiovascular diseases. Nearly all patients are prescribed a daily aspirin and an antiplatelet medication during recovery.

"We observed no difference between patients taking a high dose versus a low of aspirin as it relates to cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke or stent thrombosis," said Payal Kohli, cardiology fellow at the Brigham and Women`s Hospital, who led the study.

"Interestingly, we did find a dramatic difference in practice patterns of physicians in North America compared to those in the rest of the world," Kohli said, according to a Brigham statement.

"North American physicians prescribed a high dose of aspirin for two-thirds of all their patients, while the exact reverse was true of the rest of the world," added Kohli.

International physicians prescribed a low dose of aspirin to more than two-thirds of their patients, said Stephen D. Wiviott, Brigham cardiologist and researcher and study co-author.

Researchers based their findings on analysis of more than 1,100 patients from around the world, enrolled in the TRITON-TIMI (Thrombolysis in Myocardial Infarction) 38 trial. These findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.