01/31/2006 - News

Aspirin does not always increase the risk of a bleeding stroke

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Aspirin does not always increase the risk of a bleeding stroke

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

A new study shows that people on aspirin after a hemorrhagic stroke do not have an increased risk of a recurrence.
A hemorrhagic or bleeding stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. It differs from the more common ischemic stroke, where a clot in a blood vessel restricts the blood supply to the brain. It has long been believed that aspirin increases the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. So it would seem natural for those who have survived such a stroke to avoid it.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital made a study of 207 hemorrhagic stroke survivors. Of these, 46 had aspirin treatment at some stage during follow up and, of these, seven had a recurrent stroke. Half of them were on aspirin to prevent heart disease. Another 32 in the group, who were not on aspirin, also had a recurrent hemorrhagic stroke. The researchers conclude that aspirin is not a risk factor in recurrent hemorrhagic stroke. Therefore, those who might benefit from the drug ought not to be denied it. However, more research is needed to see if they really can benefit.

Neurology 24th January 2006

Created on: 01/31/2006
Reviewed on: 01/31/2006

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