Keeps the Heart Attacks Away

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Forget about an apple a day—as many as 11,000 heart attacks and more than 8,000 lives could be saved each year if 90 percent of people with diabetes took an aspirin a day, according to estimates from a simulation model.

A random sample of people with diabetes being cared for in 25 healthcare centers of the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system revealed that 71 percent had been counseled about taking aspirin and 66 percent were doing so. Of those sampled, 1,431 returned completed surveys, for a 72 percent response rate. The average age of the subjects was 67 years.

The percentage of people taking aspirin was up from 20 percent in the early 1990s.

Since people who have diabetes are considered to be at the same risk of cardiovascular disease as a person who has already had a heart attack, researchers say it is “imperative” that people with diabetes receive counseling about aspirin therapy.

Diabetes Care, June 2002

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