Antiplatelet Therapy, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Progression, and Clinical Outcomes

JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Dec 1;6(12):e2347296. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.47296.


Importance: Preclinical studies suggest a potential role for aspirin in slowing abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) progression and preventing rupture. Evidence on the clinical benefit of aspirin in AAA from human studies is lacking.

Objective: To investigate the association of aspirin use with aneurysm progression and long-term clinical outcomes in patients with AAA.

Design, setting, and participants: This was a retrospective, single-center cohort study. Adult patients with at least 2 available vascular ultrasounds at the Cleveland Clinic were included, and patients with history of aneurysm repair, dissection, or rupture were excluded. All patients were followed up for 10 years. Data were analyzed from May 2022 to July 2023.

Main outcomes and measures: Clinical outcomes were time-to-first occurrence of all-cause mortality, major bleeding, or composite of dissection, rupture, and repair. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional-hazard regression was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for all-cause mortality, and subhazard ratios competing-risk regression using Fine and Gray proportional subhazards regression was used for major bleeding and composite outcome. Aneurysm progression was assessed by comparing the mean annualized change of aneurysm diameter using multivariable-adjusted linear regression and comparing the odds of having rapid progression (annual diameter change >0.5 cm per year) using logistic regression.

Results: A total of 3435 patients (mean [SD] age 73.7 [9.0] years; 2672 male patients [77.5%]; 120 Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, or Pacific Islander patients [3.4%]; 255 Black patients [7.4%]; 3060 White patients [89.0%]; and median [IQR] follow-up, 4.9 [2.5-7.5] years) were included in the final analyses, of which 2150 (63%) were verified to be taking aspirin by prescription. Patients taking aspirin had a slower mean (SD) annualized change in aneurysm diameter (2.8 [3.0] vs 3.8 [4.2] mm per year; P = .001) and lower odds of having rapid aneurysm progression compared with patients not taking aspirin (adjusted odds ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.49-0.89; P = .002). Aspirin use was not associated with risk of all-cause mortality (adjusted HR [aHR], 0.92; 95% CI, 0.79-1.07; P = .32), nor was aspirin use associated with major bleeding (aHR, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.76-1.03; P = .12), or composite outcome (aHR, 1.16; 95% CI, 0.93-1.45; P = .09) at 10 years.

Conclusions: In this retrospective study of a clinical cohort of 3435 patients with objectively measured changes in aortic aneurysm growth, aspirin use was significantly associated with slower progression of AAA with a favorable safety profile.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal* / drug therapy
  • Aspirin / therapeutic use
  • Cohort Studies
  • Endovascular Procedures*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Aspirin