Low-dose aspirin associated with increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding

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Low-dose aspirin (LDA) is one of the main agents used for the prevention of thromboembolic vascular events, and has the advantages of both low cost and a prolonged duration of antiplatelet action; however, it is associated with a doubling of the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, even at doses as low as 75 mg daily. The gender differences in the clinical manifestations of LDA-associated gastroduodenal mucosal injury have not been well studied.

A research team from Japan examined the clinical factors associated with LDA-associated peptic ulcer in 453 patients under treatment with LDA (298 males, 155 females) who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy at the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology of Hiratsuka City Hospital between January 2003 and December 2007. Their study will be published on April 21, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Their results illustrated that a history of peptic ulcer was found to be the risk factor for LDA-associated peptic ulcer common to both sexes. In female patients, age greater than 70 years was a significant risk factor, and the time to diagnosis as having LDA-associated peptic ulcer by endoscopy was significantly shorter than that in male patients. The results may represent a future strategy for prevention of LDA-associated gastroduodenal mucosal injury.

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