New research has suggested that cardiac patients who stop taking prescribed aspirin could be almost two-thirds more likely to suffer a heart attack, with around half of long-term users believed to have quit the painkiller.
The Press Association reports that teams from Britain and Sweden analysed data from the Health Improvement Network database and found those individuals who did not receive a regular dose had a 60 per cent higher risk of an attack.
"Reducing the number of patients who discontinue low-dose aspirin could … have a major impact on the benefit obtained with low-dose aspirin in the general population," the study observed.
Its authors added that further work is now required to determine whether efforts to persuade individuals to continue taking aspirin could be successful in reducing the likelihood of non-fatal myocardial infarction.
Earlier in the month, charity Heart UK hit out at the north-south divide in heart disease treatment outcomes, with NHS trusts in Blackburn, Leicester and Manchester among those with the highest levels of mortality.