Harvard Heart Letter

Heart Beat: Aspirin and diabetes

For the past few years, most people with diabetes have been urged to take an aspirin a day to help prevent heart attacks. The American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association have modified that advice, based on evidence from two clinical trials. Here's what the organizations now say, in a scientific statement published in the June 22, 2010, Circulation:

Green light. Low-dose aspirin (75 to 162 milligrams a day) is a good option for most people with diabetes who also have heart disease.

Yellow light. Low-dose aspirin is "reasonable" for adults with diabetes who are at increased risk of heart disease. That covers men over age 50 and women over age 60 who have diabetes and one or more of the following risk factors: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of cardiovascular disease, or protein in their urine. Also included are those with a Framingham risk score indicating a 10% or higher chance of having a heart attack in the next 10 years.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »