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Statement From The ESC regarding Aspirin And Diabetic Patients

Recent media reports based a new study issued by the British Medical Journal say that aspirin does not prevent heart attacks in diabetic patients and puts them at an increased risk of stomach bleeding.

In response, Professor Kurt Huber, spokesperson for the European Society of Cardiology, urges patients to read the following points carefully:

  1. Not every diabetic patient needs aspirin (statin is recommended for this group of patients if their low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol is elevated above 100 mg/dl). They particularly do not need aspirin if no arterial disease is detected or in case of absence of multiple cardiovascular risk factors, as it may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding rate (as shown in the study)
  2. Diabetics may need life-long aspirin after a vascular problem (e.g. stroke, myocardial infarction or other acute coronary syndromes or peripheral arterial disease) or without such history if additional high risk factors (e.g. hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoking, positive family history) are present. This should be decided upon by their physician.
  3. Diabetic patients taking aspirin should ask their physician whether they should stay on aspirin or may be allowed to stop it. They should not purely react on the news they may have read.
Diabetes and the Heart