Aspirin for Cardioprotection and Strategies to Improve Patient Adherence

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Danielle Duffy, MD; Erik Kelly, BA; Amanda Trang, MD; David Whellan, MD, MHS; Geoffrey Mills, MD, PhD

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Postgraduate Medicine:

Volume 126 No. 1


Clinical Focus

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DOI: 10.3810/pgm.2014.01.2721
Abstract: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in North America. Aspirin therapy has proven clinical effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of CVD and is one of the most widely used drugs nationwide. However, despite the medication’s popularity and utility, adherence to a proper aspirin regimen is suboptimal, resulting in adverse health outcomes and increased health care costs. Our review outlines current knowledge on aspirin therapy adherence, causes of nonadherence, and strategies available to increase adherence to aspirin and medications in general. We demonstrate that, indeed, aspirin adherence rates are suboptimal, ranging from 72% to 92%, and that a combination of patient- and medication-related factors contribute to nonadherence. A multidimensional approach involving patient education and medication innovations to reduce aspirin side effects is imperative to improving rates of aspirin therapy adherence.

Keywords: aspirin; cardiovascular disease (CVD); adherence; gastrointestinal; safety