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Aspirin benefits equal to potential stroke sufferers

27th March 2006

New research from the US suggests that the benefits of taking aspirin to prevent developing strokes from blocked arteries are the same in women as men.

The findings by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Health Center in Baltimore seem to contradict the common perception that aspirin works better in men for preventing cardiac disease.

Aspirin was found to work equally well in both sexes in the blocking of pathways that can lead to platelet clumping.

The clumping of these blood cells is thought to bring about fatal blood clots.

"Women are clearly benefiting from taking aspirin and should continue to take it to improve their cardiovascular health," said lead author Dr Diane Becker.

"Aspirin has been proven by all previous studies to lower the risk of stroke and, as our latest findings show, it also reduces platelet aggregation that can lead to potentially fatal clots in blood vessels."

However, the studies, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicate that the drug is less effective in preventing heart attacks in women than in men.