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ISRN Rheumatology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 589807, 4 pages
Research Article

Aspirin Use in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients with Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Rheumatology Department, Geisinger Medical Center, 100 North Academy Avenue, Danville, PA 17821, USA

Received 19 August 2013; Accepted 8 September 2013

Academic Editors: H. Bodur and S. Verstappen

Copyright © 2013 Jonida K. Cote and Androniki Bili. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. To examine the patterns of low-dose aspirin use in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with high risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods. Cross-sectional study of 36 consecutive RA patients with a Framingham score ≥10% for CAD. Eligible RA patients were provided with a questionnaire on CAD risk factors and use of low-dose aspirin. For aspirin nonusers, the reason for nonuse was requested by both the patient and rheumatologist. Questions for patients included physician's advice, self-preference, history of gastrointestinal bleeding, allergy to aspirin, or concomitant use of other anti-inflammatory medications. Questions for rheumatologists included awareness of the increased CAD risk, attribution, patient preference, history of gastrointestinal bleeding, allergy to aspirin, and medication interactions. Results. Patients participated in the study; 8 patients reported using daily aspirin, while 23 patients did not. The main reason cited by patients for not taking aspirin was that they were not instructed by their primary care physician (PCP) to do so ( ), which was also the main reason cited by rheumatologists ( ). Conclusion. This study confirmed underutilization of aspirin in RA patients at high risk for CAD, largely due to the perception that this is an issue which should be handled by the PCP.