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Heart Disease In The News


Aspirin may prevent atherosclerosis
March 19, 2001

Doctors have been prescribing aspirin for years for patients with coronary artery disease, as a means of reducing the risk of heart attacks.  Aspirin has been used because it makes platelets less "sticky" (platelets are the blood elements that promote blood clotting,) thus reducing the risk of developing acute blockage in the coronary arteries.

Now, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania report that aspirin may also reduce the underlying disease process itself - atherosclerosis.  Their research suggests that antiinflammatory drugs that inhibit the COX 1 enzyme - drugs that include ibuprofen as well as asprin - may reduce the hardening of the arteries caused by atherosclerosis.  

The degree of aspirin's effect in the mouse model used by these investigators was significant.  In their model, plaque build-up was reduced by 50%.

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