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Arch Hellen Med, 35(6), November-December 2018, 784-790


The prevalence of preventive long-term aspirin use among patients
attending a rural primary health care center in Greece

A. Papaioannou, A.E. Konstantinidi, D. Aravantinos, E. Primikiri, F. Asimakopoulou, Z. Mavromichali
Health Center of Kapandriti, Kapandriti, Attiki, Greece

OBJECTIVE To explore the frequency of low-dose aspirin use as a primary and secondary prevention measure, among patients attending a rural primary health care (PHC) unit in Greece.

METHOD A cross-sectional study was performed on 928 patients who attended regular sessions at the Health Center of Kapandriti over a 6-month period. The diseases they suffered from and the medication they received were recorded. The frequency of low-dose aspirin uptake was defined as the percentage of patients taking long-term low-dose aspirin among all the participants.

RESULTS The mean age of the study population was 70.4 years, with 18.1% being over 80 years. Of the total study sample, aspirin was taken regularly by 14.2%, and of patients aged over 80 years by 16.1%. Patients suffering from cardiovascular disease (CVD) who received aspirin for secondary prevention accounted for 44.3%. The rest were taking low-dose aspirin for primary prevention, for: Diabetes mellitus (DM) 14.1%, high blood cholesterol levels (11.8%), hypertension (9.7%) and because they were smokers (16.8%). CVD and hyperlipidemia appeared to be significant predictors for receiving aspirin, odds ratio (OR)=3.138 and OR=1.925, respectively, p<0.05.

CONCLUSIONS The low-dose aspirin uptake rate of the population in the present study was low, for both primary and secondary prevention. The older patients (aged over 80 years) used aspirin more frequently, despite the fact that this age group is more vulnerable to its side effects. Individualized assessment is needed in this context.

Key words: Aspirin, Cardiovascular risk, Long-term use, Prevention, Primary health care.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine