Aspirin for primary prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes: A meta-analysis

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Feb;87(2):211-8. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2009.09.029. Epub 2009 Oct 23.


Background: To systematically review trials concerning the benefit and risk of aspirin therapy for primary prevention of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Eligible studies were prospective, randomized controlled trials of aspirin therapy for primary cardiovascular prevention in patients with diabetes with follow-up duration at least 12 months.

Results: 7 trials included 11,618 individuals with diabetes. Aspirin therapy was not associated with a statistically significant reduction in major cardiovascular events (relative risk [RR] 0.92, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.83-1.02, p=0.11). Aspirin use also did not significantly reduce all-cause mortality (0.95, 95% CI 0.85-1.06; p=0.33), cardiovascular mortality (0.95, 95% CI 0.71-1.27; p=0.71), stroke (0.83, 95% CI 0.63-1.10; p=0.20), or myocardial infarction (MI) (0.85, 95% CI 0.65-1.11; p=0.24). There was no significant increased risk of major bleeding in aspirin group (2.46, 95% CI 0.70-8.61; p=0.16). Meta-regression suggested that aspirin agent could reduce the risk of stroke in women and MI in men.

Conclusions: In patients with diabetes, aspirin therapy did not significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular events without an increased risk of major bleeding, and showed sex-specific effects on MI and stroke.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspirin / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / mortality
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Regression Analysis
  • Safety


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Aspirin