Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early Aspirin Provides Quick Benefits For Acute Stroke Patients

Date:
June 2, 2000
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
An aspirin given to stroke patients immediately upon arrival at the hospital may help to prevent recurrent strokes in the high-risk time frame immediately following the first stroke, according to the results of a combined analysis of two large studies.

An aspirin given to stroke patients immediately upon arrival at the hospital may help to prevent recurrent strokes in the high-risk time frame immediately following the first stroke, according to the results of a combined analysis of two large studies.

The study is in this month's Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

While aspirin therapy has already been shown to reduce the long-term risk of a second stroke in survivors of ischemic strokes -- caused by clots blocking blood flow to the brain -- a combined analysis of 40,000 acute stroke patients finds that aspirin provides an immediate stroke-preventing benefit in the days and weeks following the stroke.

"Early aspirin therapy should be used much more widely," says the study's lead author ZhengMing Chen, M.D., D.Phil, Reader of Oxford University in England. "The message is: If someone comes to the hospital with acute ischemic stroke, start aspirin therapy as soon as possible and continue it long-term."

Chen headed a group of researchers who examined the data from two major stroke trials -- the Chinese Acute Stroke Trial (CAST) and the International Stroke Trial (IST) -- which studied 20,000 stroke patients each.

The analysis found that the risk of recurrent ischemic stroke is reduced by one third from just a few weeks of aspirin use, and the overall absolute benefit in preventing further stroke or death is about nine per 1,000 people within a month.

Aspirin works as a blood thinner, helping to prevent the further formation of stroke-causing clots. Early treatment is especially important because the likelihood of a recurrent stroke is highest immediately following an initial stroke.

"Preventing nine strokes or deaths out of 1,000 people may not sound like much," says Chen. "But if you consider there are several million strokes worldwide each year, by treating one million of those with one year of aspirin therapy, this will prevent about 20,000 strokes or deaths."

One of the main reasons why aspirin has not been given immediately to stroke patients is concern among doctors that it might cause bleeding in the brain. However, the study shows that aspirin is much safer than initially anticipated, and, according to Chen, benefits outweigh the risk for all types of patients studied.

In 773 patients studied who had a bleeding stroke and were inadvertently given aspirin, researchers found no great difference in the outcomes of patients who received aspirin and those who didn't.

"We can be confident that there is no great hazard in giving aspirin immediately to patients who have been diagnosed with ischemic stroke," says Chen. "Of course, there may be some groups who should not get aspirin, but even the results in those who had bleeding strokes are reassuring."

The American Heart Association's guidelines for treating acute ischemic stroke suggest that aspirin may be effective in patients with acute stroke, but that aspirin should not necessarily be used in conjunction with clot-busting thrombolytic therapy.

Imaging technology, such as a CT scan, will tell a neurologist if the stroke is the result of a clot or bleeding into the brain. Even if that is not available, researchers say there's no reason to withhold early aspirin treatment when ischemic stroke is suspected.

"Especially in developing countries where the CT scan is not widely available, this is important information," says Chen. "We must limit the number of hemorrhage patients who get aspirin, but it's also important to give the treatment to those who can immediately benefit."

Patients who arrived at the hospital within the first 48 hours of symptom onset were studied. In both trials, half of the patients were randomly allocated to receive medium-dose aspirin (160 milligrams per day for 4 weeks in CAST; 300 milligrams per day for 2 weeks in IST).

Researchers say overemphasizing the urgency of clot-busting treatment for stroke may lead to an underemphasis on prompt aspirin use. Even if people were to come to the hospital more than 48 hours after their stroke, researchers believe they would still benefit from receiving aspirin immediately.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Early Aspirin Provides Quick Benefits For Acute Stroke Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000602073156.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2000, June 2). Early Aspirin Provides Quick Benefits For Acute Stroke Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000602073156.htm
American Heart Association. "Early Aspirin Provides Quick Benefits For Acute Stroke Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/06/000602073156.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

Ebola Patient Told Hospital He Was from Liberia

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S. initially went to a Dallas emergency room last week but was sent home, despite telling a nurse that he had been in disease-ravaged West Africa, the hospital acknowledged Wednesday. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins