Recent clinical trials evaluating the efficacy of aspirin in primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) have suggested the risk of aspirin may outweigh its benefit in individuals once thought to be candidates for aspirin therapy. These results led to the publication of updated guideline recommendations in 2019 for aspirin use in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA).
Recent clinical trials and guidelines relevant to aspirin for primary prevention of ASCVD were identified using PubMed® (July 1, 2016 to April 1, 2019). Studies were limited to randomized, controlled clinical trials. The most current clinical practice guidelines were prioritized.
Recent clinical trials demonstrated an increased risk of bleeding associated with aspirin use, which often outweighed cardiovascular risk reduction. In light of this new evidence, the ACC/AHA guidelines recommend aspirin for primary prevention in patients 40-70 years of age at a high ASCVD risk and low bleeding risk, who are unable to optimally control modifiable ASCVD risk factors.