Low-Dose Aspirin for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Use Patterns and Impact Across Race and Ethnicity in the Southern Community Cohort Study

J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Dec 17;8(24):e013404. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.013404. Epub 2019 Dec 11.


Background Data are limited on use patterns of low-dose aspirin and its role for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in different racial and ethnic groups. Methods and Results Overall, 65 231 non-Hispanic black and white people aged 40 to 79 years with no history of CVD enrolled from 2002 through 2009 in the SCCS (Southern Community Cohort Study). At cohort entry, the simplified Framingham 10-year CVD risk was calculated, and data related to low-dose aspirin use and clinical and socioeconomic covariates were collected. Race- and ethnicity-specific adjusted odds ratios for characteristics of low-dose aspirin users and hazard ratios for ischemic cardiac death according to aspirin use were calculated using multivariate logistic and Cox regression models. Black participants were less likely to take low-dose aspirin compared with white participants, regardless of CVD risk and covariates (adjusted odds ratio: 0.79; 95% CI, 0.75-0.82). Over a median follow-up of 11.3 years, low-dose aspirin use was associated with a trend toward decreased risk of ischemic cardiac death in white participants (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.86; 95% CI, 0.68-1.10), especially in women (adjusted hazard ratio: 0.72; 95% CI, 0.51-1.02), but not in black participants (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.18; 95% CI, 0.98-1.40). Similar trends were observed when the analysis was restricted to high-risk individuals aged 50 to 69 or 50 to 59 years, ages for which guidelines consider aspirin for CVD primary prevention. Conclusions Low-dose aspirin use for primary prevention of CVD is lower among black than white patients. Its use might be associated with a disparate impact on ischemic cardiac death according to race and ethnicity. Although additional studies are required, these findings provide no evidence of a beneficial effect of aspirin among black patients for CVD primary prevention.

Keywords: aspirin; ethnicity; ischemic heart disease; primary prevention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Aspirin / administration & dosage*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Whites*


  • Aspirin