Aspirin Use and Stroke:
Less Risk, Less Harm

Article by Anna Schoenbach

MRI side view of the headIn July, the National Stroke Association published a study that was able to clearly link aspirin use to less severe and damaging strokes. Although previous studies had shown that this was a possibility, this is one of the first to confirm it.

The study was a review of a database of 610 MRIs from adult stroke patients who had been admitted to the emergency department of a large academic medical center over the course of 10 years.

The study specifically looked at the damage caused by each patient’s strokes, revealed by the MRI, and any medications (including aspirin) that the patients were taking at the time. It also took into account risk factors such as previous transient ischemic stroke, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

It confirmed that aspirin use was associated with milder, less damaging strokes – which typically means less time in the hospital, lower levels of disability, and better quality of life for the patient. This was statistically shown to be true despite the fact that patients taking aspirin had a higher concentration of risk factors. They were more likely to be older, have a medical condition that increased their risk of stroke, or have had a previous ischemic stroke.

The researchers conclude that aspirin use is associated with milder strokes, and would be beneficial in already at-risk populations.

Study can be found Here