Enhanced platelet activity correlates with early markers of myocardial damage in patients with cardiovascular disease. However, the extent to which enhanced platelet function signals subsequent adverse clinical outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease is unknown. Blood from patients with stable cardiovascular disease receiving aspirin (325 mg/day) as the only antiplatelet therapy was tested for closure time (CT) with the Dade PFA-100 Platelet Function Analyzer system collagen/adenosine diphosphate (ADP) [CADP] cartridge and platelet aggregometry using 10 microM ADP. This study intentionally focused on those patients defined as aspirin sensitive by previously established criteria of arachidonic acid- and ADP-induced platelet aggregometry, and separately by collagen/epinephrine (CEPI) CT using the PFA-100. Follow up averaged 22 months for the adverse clinical events of death, myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident. For aspirin sensitivity determined by aggregometry, patients with CADP CT < 90 seconds (125/296 = 42.2%) had a composite endpoint rate of 19.2% (24/125), while those with CADP CT 90 seconds (171/296 = 57.8%) had an endpoint rate of 5.3% (9/171). Patients with CADP CT <90 seconds had a relative risk (RR) of 3.65 (95% CI.: 1.76-7.57) for recurrent events and 6.56 (95% CI.: 1.93-22.35) for death compared to patients with CADP CT 90s. Nearly identical results were obtained when patients were categorized as aspirin sensitive by CEPI CT. Platelet aggregometry with 10 microM ADP yielded no significant RR for the selected outcomes. Platelet function testing using the PFA-100 system appears to identify a subgroup of stable cardiovascular disease patients with increased risk of major adverse events that is associated with hypersensitivity to ADP, regardless of apparently effective aspirin therapy.