Dr.Carrie P. Aaron and associates in a longitudinal analysis of data from a large lung study have found that regular aspirin use was found to be associated with a more than 50% reduction in emphysema/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).The study has been published in the journal Chest.
The researchers in an elderly cohort over a decade enrolled 4,257 participants from the MESA Lung Study. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) is a prospective cohort study that recruited 7 6814 participants in 2000-02 from six U.S. communities who were ages 45-84 years and free of clinical cardiovascular disease. The MESA Air Pollution Study recruited an additional 257 participants under the same criteria in 2004-07. The MESA Lung Study enrolled 3965 MESA participants in 2004-06 (at visits 2 and 3),25 10 all MESA Air participants at one site, and an additional 410 MESA participants in 2010-12 .All participants provided written informed consent.
The primary exposure was regular use of aspirin at baseline, defined as use of any aspirin dose 3 or more days per week, as even 81mg every 3 days inhibits platelet activation. Additional analyses evaluated any aspirin use at baseline, regular aspirin use at each visit, time-variant aspirin use, and doses of 81mg and 300-325mg. Their mean (±SD) age was 61±10 years, 54% were ever-smokers, and 22% used aspirin regularly.
The researchers found that-
- On average percent emphysema increased 0.60 percentage points over 10 years (95% CI 0.35 to 0.94).
- Progression of percent emphysema was slower among regular aspirin users compared to non-aspirin users (fully adjusted model: -0.34% per 10 years, 95% CI -0.60 to -0.08; P=0.01).
- Results were similar in ever-smokers and for doses of 81 mg and 300-325 mg. A greater magnitude effect was seen among participants with airflow limitations.
- No association was found between aspirin use and change in lung function.
The authors concluded that regular aspirin use was associated with a slower progression of the percent of the emphysema-like lung on CT over 10 years in this general population sample. These findings suggest that further studies of platelet activation and aspirin in COPD and emphysema may be warranted.
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