Aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer: updated modeling study for the US Preventive Services Task Force Journal Article uri icon

abstract

  • IMPORTANCE: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is updating its 2016 recommendation on the use of aspirin for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). OBJECTIVE: To provide updated model-based estimates of the net balance in benefits and harms from routine use of low-dose aspirin for primary prevention. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Microsimulation modeling was used to estimate long-term benefits and harms for hypothetical US cohorts of men and women aged 40 to 79 years with up to 20% 10-year risk for an atherosclerotic CVD event and without prior history of CVD or elevated bleeding risks. EXPOSURES: Low-dose (≤100 mg/d) aspirin for lifetime use, unless contraindicated by a bleeding event, and with stopping ages in 5-year intervals from age 65 to 85 years. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Primary outcomes were lifetime net benefits measured in quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and life-years. Benefits included reduced nonfatal myocardial infarction and ischemic stroke. Harms included increased nonfatal major gastrointestinal bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage. Reduced CRC incidence was considered in sensitivity analysis. RESULTS: Estimated lifetime net QALYs were positive for both men and women at 5% or greater 10-year CVD risk when starting between ages 40 and 59 years and at 10% or greater 10-year CVD risk when starting between ages 60 and 69 years. These estimates ranged from 2.3 (95% CI, -2.7 to 7.4) to 66.2 (95% CI, 58.2 to 74.1) QALYs per 1000 persons. Lifetime net life-years were positive for men at 5% or greater and women at 10% or greater 10-year CVD risk starting aspirin at ages 40 to 49 years and for men at 7.5% or greater and women at 15% or greater 10-year CVD risk at ages 50 to 59 years. These estimates ranged from 0.4 (95% CI, -6.1 to 6.9) to 52.4 (95% CI, 43.9 to 60.9) life-years per 1000 persons. Lifetime net life-years were negative in most cases for persons starting aspirin between ages 60 and 79 years, as were lifetime net QALYs for persons aged 70 to 79 years. Stopping aspirin between ages 65 and 85 years generally showed little advantage compared with lifetime use. Sensitivity analyses showed lifetime net benefits may be higher if aspirin reduced CRC incidence or CVD mortality and lower if aspirin increased fatal major gastrointestinal bleeding or reduced quality of life with routine use. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This microsimulation study suggested that several population groups may benefit from taking aspirin for the primary prevention of CVD, primarily in persons starting at younger ages with higher 10-year CVD risk.

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publication date

  • 2022

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