Recent media reports based a new study issued by the British Medical Journal say that aspirin does not prevent heart attacks in diabetic patients and puts them at an increased risk of stomach bleeding. In response, Professor Kurt Huber, spokesperson for the European Society of Cardiology, urges patients to read the following points carefully:
  1. Not every diabetic patient needs aspirin (statin is recommended for this group of patients if their low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol is elevated above 100 mg/dl). They particularly do not need aspirin if no arterial disease is detected or in case of absence of multiple cardiovascular risk factors, as it may increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding rate (as shown in the study)
  2. Diabetics may need life-long aspirin after a vascular problem (e.g. stroke, myocardial infarction or other acute coronary syndromes or peripheral arterial disease) or without such history if additional high risk factors (e.g. hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoking, positive family history) are present. This should be decided upon by their physician.
  3. Diabetic patients taking aspirin should ask their physician whether they should stay on aspirin or may be allowed to stop it. They should not purely react on the news they may have read.

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC):
The ESC represents nearly 53,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe.

The ESC achieves this through a variety of scientific and educational activities including the coordination of: clinical practice guidelines, education courses and initiatives, pan-European surveys on specific disease areas and the ESC Annual Congress, the largest medical meeting in Europe. The ESC also works closely with the European Commission and WHO to improve health policy in the EU.

The ESC comprises 3 Councils, 5 Associations, 19 Working Groups, 50 National Cardiac Societies and an ESC Fellowship Community (Fellow, FESC; Nurse Fellow, NFESC). For more information on ESC Initiatives, Congresses and Constituent Bodies see www.escardio.org.

European Society of Cardiology, The European Heart House 2035 Route des Colles, B.P. 179 - Les Templiers, Sophia Antipolis F-06903 France