Objectives: Inflammation and platelet aggregation and activation are key processes in the initiation of a cardiovascular event. Patients with metabolic syndrome have a high risk of cardiovascular events. This study determined whether small and medium doses of aspirin have anti-inflammation and antiplatelet aggregation effects in patients with metabolic syndrome.
Methods: One hundred and twenty-one consecutive patients with metabolic syndrome were randomized into three groups, receiving 100 mg/day of aspirin, 300 mg/day of aspirin or a placebo, respectively, for 2 weeks. The blood levels of thromboxane B2 (TXB2), a stable product of the platelet aggregation mediator TXA2, 6-keto-prostaglandin F1-alpha (6-keto-PGF1-alpha), a stable product of the endogenous cyclooxygenase metabolite prostaglandin I2, and inflammatory mediators including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), were determined by ELISA and radioimmunoassay.
Key findings: The blood levels of hs-CRP, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and TXB2 were significantly decreased after 2 weeks of treatment with 300 mg/day of aspirin. Patients who received 100 mg/day of aspirin had decreased blood levels of hs-CRP and TXB2. The blood level of IL-6 in the 300 mg/day aspirin group was significantly lower than that in the other two groups after 2 weeks of therapy. Aspirin at either dose did not affect the blood level of 6-keto-PGF1-alpha.
Conclusions: Aspirin at all doses suppresses the blood levels of inflammatory markers and the platelet aggregation mediator TXA2 in Chinese patients with metabolic syndrome. Since the suppression induced by 300 mg/day of aspirin was greater than that induced by 100 mg/day of aspirin, these data suggest that 300 mg/day of aspirin may be beneficial in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular events in Chinese patients with metabolic syndrome.